Robert’s story

Robert was living with an alcohol addiction and was homeless for over 25 years. He was well known in the local community and was identified as one of the top 100 A&E attendees at the Local General Hospital.

He drank all day every day until he would pass out and this was either in the town centre or just by the roadside. In addition, Robert was also incontinent and really struggled with any meaningful communication or positive decision making due to his alcohol usage. This often resulted in local services such as police, ambulance being called in to help. He had no independent living skills and was unable to function without alcohol.

In addition, and due to his lifestyle and presenting behaviours, Robert had a hostile relationship with his family and had become estranged from them for a long period of time.

Robert needed ongoing support and it was identified at the General Hospital that if he was to carry on “living” the way he currently was, then he wouldn’t survive another winter.

On the back of this, Robert was referred to Calico who organised a multi-disciplinary support package for him, which included support with housing as part of the Making Every Adult Matter programme.

After some initial challenges, Robert soon started to make some positive changes.

The intensive, multidisciplinary support package taught him new skills to support him to live independently, sustain his tenancy and make some positive lifestyle changes which in turn would improve his health and wellbeing.

This included providing daily visits in the morning to see Robert and to support him with some basic activities on a daily/weekly basis. This included getting up and dressed; support with shopping and taking to appointments; guidance to help make positive decisions around his associates; support about his benefits and managing his money. In addition, he was given critical support via accessing local groups such as RAMP (reduction and motivational programme) and Acorn (drugs and alcohol service), as well as 1 to 1 sessions with drugs workers and counsellors to address his alcohol addiction.

After six months Robert continued to do well and was leading a more positive lifestyle where he had greatly reduced his A&E attendance. He had significantly reduced his alcohol intake with long periods of abstinence and was now able to communicate and make positive decisions around his lifestyle.

Critically he had maintained his tenancy and continued to regularly attend local groups and other support for his alcohol addiction and had reconnected with some of his family members.

By being able to access these community resources and reduce his isolation he is now engaged in meaningful activities throughout the day and has been able to address some of his critical issues. A small but significant example is that Robert is now wearing his hearing aids which means that he can now interact and communicate more effectively.