Victoria House Care Home for Adults with a Learning Disability
Victoria House is a residential care home, located in Darlington, County Durham. The service can support up to six women who are living with a learning disability and whose behaviours may be perceived as challenging. The service can also support people who may have associated mental or physical health needs. People come to Victoria House for many reasons. They may be moving on following a stay at a NHS or other specialist learning disability service or may need more support than can be offered in supported living. They may also require a little extra support during a difficult period in their life, or be on a pathway towards a place of their own.
At Victoria House we believe that everyone should be treated as a full and valued member of their community with the same rights as everyone else. At Victoria House we enable people to structure their time, build relationships and establish a balance between therapy, self-care, work and leisure as appropriate to their individual needs. Community based activities give people opportunities to meet others, experience new activities, participate in leisure activities and practice social skills. Activities depend on individual preferences and can include a variety of community based and educational choices.
About Victoria House
Victoria House is a Victorian terraced property on a quiet street, opposite the river Skerne, in close proximity to Darlington town centre. There is a choice of living and kitchen-dining areas for people to use. Everyone has their own bedroom and are encouraged to personalise and decorate as they wish. Promoting an individual’s independence is very important at Victoria House and people are encouraged to prepare food and drink for themselves and their visitors. Developing selfcare and daily living skills is a very important part of life at Victoria House.
Externally there is a bright and sunny outdoor area with flower pots and hanging baskets and shaded seating areas for relaxing with friends. Within walking distance from Victoria House is Darlington town centre, which has many community facilities for people to access including leisure centres, social clubs, shops, colleges, and work placement settings.
When I first came here I was a little bit nervous because I was moving from a hospital to a residential home. At first I didn’t like my room as it was a bit noisy, but I told the staff and I moved to a different room which was bigger and I felt more settled. I got to choose the colour of my room and the furniture; I also chose the pictures and ornaments.
Since I have been living at Victoria House I can do more things and I feel happier. I like to help out and do things for myself. I do my own cooking and buy my own ingredients. I also help to shop for the rest of the house at the supermarket. I also like to keep things tidy and I can now do my own laundry by myself. If I get a bit stuck the staff help me. They are polite and have a nice kind attitude to everyone.
I am the chairperson of the ‘People’s Parliament’ which is a meeting where service users talk about the things that will make them happier. Minutes are taken at the meetings, and our questions are sent to the senior managers who sometimes come to our meetings to tell us about what is happening.
I like going out in Darlington, which is close to Victoria House. I like dance aerobics, swimming, badminton and going for walks in the nearby park. I regularly attend slimming meetings and the social club where I meet new people. After a while at Victoria House, I spoke to the occupational therapist about getting a job. I met with a manager at the local office to talk about working there, we talked and filled in a work agreement and then I started to work every week. I like my job and enjoy working with my computer, helping with the post and I like printing as well. I really like to help to interview new members of staff and I even interviewed and helped to choose my new colleague! Along with the rest of my team I helped to organise a staff awards ceremony and dinner at which I won an award for all of my hard work. I really love my job and I am looking forward to doing some ASDAN training and getting some qualifications.
I like to go on holiday too. Me and my keyworker went to Lake Windermere on holiday. We stayed in a caravan which was close to the shops. It was a lovely place and I enjoyed taking lots of photographs. I have been to a meeting with my social worker about moving on. It makes me a little bit nervous, but I have learnt a lot at Victoria House and I know I will be supported when the time is right for me.
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