Mrs Z is an 88 year old lady who has dementia. Her family member lives down the same street and is her main carer,  she explained that she was struggling to juggle personal life with her caring duties as her caring responsibilities increased slowly over a period of years without her realising how much she was actually doing. She was referred to FaH to provide some social stimulation for Mrs Z so Mrs X can have some respite. When I visited Mrs X, she explained that she feels immense guilt because she wants some time to spend with her family. We explored those feelings of guilt and options available to provide her some much-needed respite. Focus was contacted and they agreed to a 3hr weekly carer sit and a four times daily care package one weekend in four. Mrs S now has time to spend with her family members and can still provide a good level of care that is more manageable. Mrs Z is now adjusted to having additional support outside the family unit and is open to the possibility of this increasing as and when her needs increase as she enjoys the company. Mrs X was so grateful for the information and support from FaH and said:

“I just want to thank you so much for giving me the confidence to reach out for help, my life is getting back on track and I feel so much better now”

Mrs S knows that FaH are here to support her in the future and will stay in touch on a regular basis.

 


Mr S has been known by FaH for three years now, originally he sought our support in 2017 when his wife was diagnosed with dementia. Mrs S was provided with all the information and support to remain at home but eventually went in to 24hr residential care following a severe injury that resulted in a lengthy hospital stay. The St Hugh’s project stayed in touch with Mr S to support him with his life adjustments. While speaking to Mr S during the latest review it was recognised that he did not sound his usual self and we offered a home visit to provide face to face support. During this home visit Mr S confessed that he was emotionally  and physically struggling with his life, he was having home care four times daily but was desperate to move in to 24hr residential care so he could be with his wife. He said he could not afford to pay for them both so was struggling himself to ensure his wife had quality care. Financial implications, costs (current and future) were explained to him, also his feelings of guilt and failure were explored and resolved. Mr S is now making plans to move in to residential care where he and his wife can enjoy the rest of their lives together, safe in the knowledge that they have quality 24hr care, and support to remain a part of their community from Friendship at Home.

 


At the end of an assessment for the over 75’s project, where we had chatted for an hour, the lady said “I am so pleased you called, you brightened up my day and made it worthwhile.”

 


During an assessment for the same project another lady said whilst I was there could I change the filter in her cooker extractor fan which with a bit of difficulty I did, she said “I am so pleased, it’s all these little things that are difficult, I am so grateful.”

 


During the lockdown many of our volunteers have been ringing their befriended member and keeping in touch in many ways but still observing all safety rules.

L has been visited by their befriender for about 3 years now and is very much his only visitor as their family live at the other side of the country. They have built up a very strong friendship enjoying each other’s company and telling stories about

Our befriender was keeping in touch by phone and taking shopping for them which they had been doing pre-Covid. During the conversations, the Befriender became concerned about L’s health since they were sleeping in later and later and forgetting to take some of their medication because of this.

I got in touch with the family and expressed the concerns.  They had become aware of this as well and were unsure of how they could help.  The family asked if we could help with sorting some help and were able to, letting them have details of several options

L is now happy with the carer who comes in to help them to get a good start to their day and is back on track with their meds.

L tells me that they enjoy seeing the carer in the morning and feels very comfortable with them.

Our befriender is also pleased that L has more help and is finding that their conversations are once again back to where they used to be, and L seems to have their old spark back.

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