Phyllis: the value of long term work in care homes

Posted on September 1st, by editor in Caring Times. No Comments

In 1997, after years of homelessness and failing mental health, Phyllis came to live at Norclyffe, a care home in South London, run by The Richard Cusden Homes, a small voluntary organisation. She lived there until her death, earlier this year. Before coming to Norclyffe, Phyllis was in hospital in Hackney near to where she had been living rough. She was homeless, emaciated, and neglected . . . and a problem. She was sectioned and compulsorily admitted to hospital. Her local authority chose Norclyffe for her because it was cheap and other homes had refused her. (At the time Norclyffe had plenty of vacancies and took virtually anyone who wanted a place.) _Unnerving_ Phyllis’ presence was felt by all – other residents, visitors, and staff. Particularly unnerving was her habit of standing staring, often peering around a doorway, with one hand lifting her skirt. Her incontinence appeared to be deliberate and challenging. She had a small bedroom near to the front door, and it was Phyllis – not the freshly picked f

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