Family's desperation to keep son and brother with schizophrenia in supported living

PUBLISHED: 13:00 24 August 2019 | UPDATED: 13:55 24 August 2019

Daniel Olesen with parents Lesley and Michael, and sister Katie. Photo: Katie Olesen

Daniel Olesen with parents Lesley and Michael, and sister Katie. Photo: Katie Olesen

Katie Olesen

The family of a man with schizophrenia say they are desperate for him to stay in supported accommodation that he is being moved from.

Daniel Olesen with sister Katie. Photo: Katie OlesenDaniel Olesen with sister Katie. Photo: Katie Olesen

Daniel Olesen, 25, has been living at Omnia in Norwich for six weeks.

However adult social services at County Hall said it was decided he did not need supported living or residential care.

His parents Lesley and Michael, and sister Katie, say he cannot cope in a hostel, which is the accommodation which has been suggested for him.

Miss Olesen, 22, said her brother - who has also had bouts of alcohol and drug abuse - lived at home for a long time but when his behaviour became too difficult to handle, he was moved into Omnia, which provides care for people with mental ill health.

Daniel Olesen. Photo: Katie OlesenDaniel Olesen. Photo: Katie Olesen

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She said: "[Social services] said he had the capability to look after himself and go into independent living which is a load of rubbish. My dad has put in complaints and tried to find out what questions were asked, how they came to that decision."

Miss Olesen said her brother was currently changing medication so while the family understood he would have to eventually leave supported living, now was not the time. The change had only happened because it was thought he would be staying in his current home for longer. She said: "We have been informed his likeliness of having a cardiac arrest due to medication change has increased so being monitored is vital. The staff at the supported living accommodation told us he needs more time to develop his living skills, and that they are stunned by the panel's decision."

She said mental health workers had also challenged the decision and the family was looking to appeal.

Miss Olesen added: "As a result of all the delays we go from one crisis to another and we are fire fighting all the time trying to get the right people to help."

Miss Olesen said after her ex-boyfriend Harvey Lewis Trusswell took his own life in 2017 she did not want her brother or family to go through the same.

A county council spokesman said: "We are sorry to hear about the frustrations expressed by Daniel's family and have offered to meet them, to explain our position. We will continue to work closely with Daniel to ensure the ongoing support package and interventions by the community mental health services continue."

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