Bringing Clive Home – Cork City Civil Defence

29 July 2019

Clive is a 40 year old man who lives in Ashville, Cope Foundation’s residential centre. As Clive has high support needs, he is unable to use the usual forms of transport such as buses and cars, and requires ambulance assistance to travel. As a result, it has been 25 years since Clive has visited his home.

During those 25 years, Clive only left Ashville for short walks in his trolley around the grounds or to go to hospital when he was unwell. Clive’s Mum asked the staff if it would ever be possible for Clive to go home for a visit, she said “I will never have him home again”

Staff supporting Clive began to discuss how they could make this possible, it was going to be difficult, but not impossible as the staff were determined to find a solution for Clive and his family.

Because Clive needs a lot of support he needed an ambulance to transport him. Private ambulances were very expensive. Bumbulance only transfer children. Staff did not give up. One of the nurses, Margaret, had an idea to ask Cork City Civil Defence if they could assist with bringing Clive from Ashville to his home. They said yes, they were happy to help.

The doors of Clive’s family home were measured and a bed set up in Clive’s sitting room! Nursing staff volunteered their time to attend to Clive’s nursing care needs during his visits home. They would support Clive on his home visits until his family were confident with supporting his care needs and even then, remained on standby if support was needed.

So, accompanied by his nursing staff and the Civil Defence ambulance team, Clive was ready for his first visit to his family home in 25 years.

At first, 2 nurses stayed with Clive and his family. Now, a nurse goes and settles him in, leaves, but is available if support is required. Over the past 2 and a half years Clive has had 14 home visits.

This initiative has provided Clive with the opportunity to be seen, heard and valued for the incredible person that he is, and has resulted in a shift in focus from the difficulties of his high support needs to the joy and laughter that he brings and his fun loving positivity.

The work being done to bring Clive home is a very real example of Cope Foundation’s overall strategy for belief in enhancing people’s lives and Cork City Civil Defence are delighted to be a part of this person-centred support for Clive.