Greg Renton Enjoys Respite Care at Forward Vision

Posted: 18/02/2015 | Adult Services,

21 year old Greg Renton is registered blind, has learning difficulties and uses a wheelchair. He enjoys short breaks at Forward Vision to socialise and participate in activities. It also gives his parents respite.

Greg RentonGreg Renton, 21, has been involved with Royal Blind since he was four months old. For the last three years he has been going for short breaks at Forward Vision to give his parents Joyce and Moray Cattanach respite and to socialise with people his own age.

Greg has a rare genetic condition, Joubert Syndrome. He is registered blind, has learning difficulties and hypotonia (loose joints) which means it is hard to walk, so he uses a wheelchair. He’s also epileptic and has chronic renal failure. His hearing is fine but he has no speech. He’s a very happy young man with great determination.

Greg needs constant care. His condition is terminal due to the kidney problems but he’s doing better than expected. He uses the on-body sign language, Canaan Barrie, which was developed at the Royal Blind School and is now a worldwide method of communication.

“He’s happy” says Joyce. “And we’re happy with the care he gets at Forward Vision. When he’s there we have peace of mind. Greg likes the one-to-one attention and knows his way about via the tactile markers. His personal file was moved across when he left the Royal Blind School. This continuity means they didn’t have to learn about him all over again.

“The staff are really friendly.Communication is excellent - they email us on his behalf every night, keeping us informed. They have six monthly reviews, checking and clarifying medication. When he comes home on Monday all the washing has been done!

“They’re also really good at planning, seeing what’s on and organising activities to suit, whether it’s a trip to The Snowman or the fish and chip shop, which Greg loves. He uses the hydropool and soft play area, an advantage of being next to the Royal Blind School. 

“When Greg’s home we’re up by the back of 5 every morning. We
always have an ear out for him. We need to be awake when he’s awake.

Greg’s sister Jodie is also registered blind and has a guide dog. She is a university graduate currently living at home while seeking employment. Moray and Joyce both work full time. Moray is a Tax Specialist Manager
working with HMRC and Joyce is a Development Officer for Headway East Lothian, the brain injury charity.

Greg also attends Visualise Scotland three days per week; a service which provides a range of care services tailored to the individual needs of people with physical and sensory impairments, learning disabilities and complex communication support needs. The other two days he spends at Tynebank Resource Centre where he follows a personalised programme tailored to his needs and abilities. Work and other commitments mean family support with Greg is often difficult.

Joyce continues:

“Respite means time for us. Weekends away: walking, sitting, having a cup of coffee, dinner at 6pm, bed by 8. Respite helps us both to work, which is a bonus to society. We’re not just Greg’s carers. We’re people.  

"The standard of care and attention Greg receives at Forward Vision is exemplary and has helped us all to encourage Greg to reach his full potential and to make sense of his world."

Find out more about short breaks at Forward Vision.