Home care aid for epilepsy sufferer

Ann Proctor with her daughter Claire Asquith at their home in Boston Spa which has been extended with the help of Care and Repair (LEEDS) a local charity who provide services for older and disabled people in Leeds'Pictured in Claire;s bedroom in the new extention

Ann Proctor with her daughter Claire Asquith at their home in Boston Spa which has been extended with the help of Care and Repair (LEEDS) a local charity who provide services for older and disabled people in Leeds'Pictured in Claire;s bedroom in the new extention

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Anne Proctor says her family’s life has been transformed by a house makeover.

But the refurbishment was not to improve the look of her Boston Spa home – but to give a better quality of life to her disabled daughter.

Anne Procter, 53, is a full-time carer to her daughter Claire Asquith, 34, who has suffered from Lennox Gastaut Syndrome, a severe form of epilepsy which is diagnosed in children, since she was two year’s old.

Now Anne has praised Leeds charity Care and Repair, who provide services for older and disabled people across Leeds to live in safe, well-maintained homes, after they teamed up with Leeds City Council earlier this year as part of a £1 million pound contract to carry out a number of adaptions to elderly, disabled and vulnerable people’s homes across Leeds.

Miss Procter said the scheme has helped improve her daughter’s life dramatically.

She said: “The improvements have made a huge difference to our lives, we have much more space in the house now. We have lived in a number of properties in Leeds over the years. This one has been our home for 11 years. Moving into different properties has been stressful for us. The bigger space here has helped us.”

“Before Claire had to sit on the sofa for her meals, but now we can all sit together as a family. The bedroom also lacked space and she didn’t have the ability to walk around it as easily as it was too small.”

As part of the adaptions project carried out by Leeds City Council and Care and Repair, a number of extensions have been made to the semi-detached bungalow.

The project has provided Claire with wheelchair access to the house, and an extended lounge to include a dining table.

A large bedroom extension with a specialist bathroom has also been fitted to suit Claire’s needs.

Anne, who also lives with partner Chris Ward, 45, and pet African grey parrot Winnie, said: “For Claire it is about quality of life, which is important. She loves going out in the car and to shopping and gardening centres.

“And she reads books and magazines.”

“As a carer of someone who has epilepsy it is very hard to plan anything, so we take every day as it comes, and though there is no cure, we try and stay positive.”

Claire, who is on six different types of medication daily, currently attends a day care service five days a week at Ramshead Wood provided by Leeds City Council.

Anne said she would like to raise awareness of both Lennox Gaustaut Syndrome, and the home adaption scheme for people across Leeds.

She said: “I hope by talking about it I can help others.

“It is important other sufferers and families do not hide behind closed doors and know that the help and support is available to them.”

Bill Rollinson, director of Care and Repair, Leeds, said: “We are really pleased that Claire will now be able to live safely and happily in her own home.

“This work illustrates the difference that can be made to the lives of disabled people carrying out adaptions to their homes and the advantages that can be achieved.”

Lennox Gastaut occurs in between one and five in every 100 children with epilepsy. However, it is the difficult childhood epilepsy to treat. The most common time for it to start is between three and five years of age.