Life has been turned upside down following a family’s baby being diagnosed with brain damage. Suddenly there are lots of hospital appointments, admissions and an unknown future.
Both parents are left feeling overwhelmed with the emotional and practical demands of caring for a baby who regularly experiences dystonias and is generally unsettled day and night, whilst also juggling the needs of their other 3 young children.
The health visitor referred the family to Home-Start as they thought the family would benefit from a volunteer who could provide some practical help with the children and the home, and someone for Mum; Lauren to talk to.
Ruth visits the family home after school once a week on one of the evenings Lauren’s partner has to work late. Having Ruth there to “share the load” enables all of the children to get one-one attention; time spent reading, doing school work and playing. Either will prepare the meal and the children and Lauren can all sit together whilst Ruth holds and sings to the baby.
When Home-Start first introduced Ruth to the family, Lauren said she felt “immediately at ease with her”, and has been able to talk to her especially when it has been a difficult week. Lauren’s evenings are less chaotic and easier to manage with Ruth’s help. Although the situation remains the same, Ruth’s visits allow the family a little breathing space as they adjust and explore what ongoing support is now needed and available to them.