Sunday 31 July 2011


Picture an elderly gentleman, living on his own, in his own flat, for 10 years.

He's been a recluse, family bringing him all his groceries, the dentist visiting him there, he's literally not been out of the property for a decade. He had lived in gloom (the curtains always had to be closed). Then his GP (who's not been able to see him for years) refers him to me, worried he might have dementia since he's not functioning and he's become paranoid and feels the man above him is wafting smoke at him, he's being watched by people, neighbours try and set him on fire, they're tampering with his water. He now feels afraid in his own home.

He agrees to stay with family, crossing his doorway for the first time in so many years. In their home he's no better. Pictures talk to him. The pets are telepathic. The family are variously helping him, or poisoning him, so he lashes out with a walking stick.

He was unwell. He needed an antipsychotic to make him better. This was done. He recovered. He's now relaxed, happy, sociable and active. He's no longer housebound, he goes to shops and the seaside with family. He was going to go back to his flat but he's such a great sense of humour and so fun and so good with the grandchildren the family have moved him permanently into their home, which he's delighted about.

He wasn't acutely paranoid. He's been unwell for at least a decade. He's been appropriately referred, treated and most of all supported by family, and now he's well. Cured. From housebound and antisocial and afraid, sitting in the gloom, he's now happy and well. He doesn't have dementia. He's had no acute illness at all. He's simply been mentally unwell for over a decade and now he's had the combination of care he needed to help him. He's cured. It's not often I get to say that.


Milk and Two Sugars said...

Brilliant. Congratultions :)

The Girl said...

That is a wonderful result and a great illustration of how much we can help people.
Thank-you for sharing. :)

R said...

Wow - well done!

It must be amazing when that happens. What a wonderful thing for that man that you and your team finally came across him.