James’* story – Spinal injury

James* was 17-years-old when his life changed irrevocably in an instant. A victim of crime, james was attacked and knocked from his bike. As a result, he suffered a C5/C6 spinal cord injury which has left him tetraplegic. Understandably, the devastating injuries also resulted in James suffering from long-term mental health issues, as he has battled to come to terms with his life changing injuries.

Initially, James found himself in and out of a succession of care homes. Although the care he received for his physical injuries was generally good, being away from home had an impact on his mental and emotional wellbeing.

His sister, Julie, explains: “Not only did we have a lengthy, ongoing court battle to contend with, we also had to fight to ensure that James’ welfare was put first. The defending law team wanted James to remain in a care home to keep their costs down. At one point, he was sent to a home in Brighton – 90 miles away from his family and friends which meant he felt very isolated and unhappy.

“We successfully argued in court that James’ needs would be better served by returning to live in his own home in Camden. Having cleared this hurdle, we then needed to set about finding a care agency who would be able to provide the highly specialised, round-the-clock care that James required.

“We approached an agency who were unable to offer the care package we needed, but they personally recommended Almond Care to us.

“The first time we spoke to Julia Senah, the clinical nurse specialist at Almond Care, we felt completely reassured that we had made the right decision.

“Julia involved us in every step of the process. She recruited a tailor-made care team in the Camden area and we were invited to sit in on the interviews, so that we had an input into the selection of the care professionals who would be looking after James.

“We selected a fantastic team which included a live in carer as well as 24 hour support staff both night and day. At Almond Care, the focus has always been about putting James’ welfare and interests first. They are not driven primarily by commercial concerns – it’s all about putting the client at the centre of everything they do. The team who have cared for James are incredibly dedicated.

“James is now 34-years-old and has had to come to terms with the fact that he will always need 24/7 care. He is very vulnerable and it is fair to say that caring for James has sometimes been challenging for the Almond team, but they showed tenacity and stuck with him through difficult times – when, in fairness, some care agencies might have walked away.

“This kind of loyalty and dedication to James is what sets Almond Care apart. I would absolutely recommend them to any family in similar circumstances.”

*Names have been changed at client’s request.

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