Our Befriending Service offers a much-needed lifeline to older people who are lonely and isolated. It is recognised that loneliness can lead to depression and in turn, lack of confidence, low self-esteem and the withdrawal from social groups and activities.
Our volunteer befrienders are there to offer company and friendship to those who are, primarily, living on their own. We at Friendship at Home work on a one to one basis, which means strong bonds are formed between the member and their befriender. The service ensures, through careful matching with our volunteers, that they have something in common – which is a foundation on which to build.
The benefits of having someone to sit and talk to, share a trip to the garden centre, read a book or play a game of cards, can really make a difference to an older person’s well being.
We offer befriending either in the member’s own home, or in a residential home setting. It is apparent that although people are placed in residential care, some may still feel loneliness and isolation. We now have our volunteer befrienders who spend one-to one time with those who need it in several care homes with in North East Lincolnshire.
St Hugh’s Dementia Project
Friendship at Home currently have two members of staff (Mandy and Clare) who support people with memory concerns (including those diagnosed with Dementia) and their families/carers. This ongoing service provides one to one practical, emotional advice and information on many things including:
What our members said:
“We don’t know what we would have done without you”
“You’ve told me more in the last hour than my social worker has ever told me”
“I can’t believe how much there is out there that we didn’t know about”
“Dementia is not such a dark place with your help and support”
Case study 1
Mr X lives with his wife Mrs X who was worried about her husband’s memory, Mr X refused to talk about it and did not want to seek medical advice or any outside support from anybody. Mrs X felt very alone and afraid that she was dealing with such a scary future and could not speak to her husband about it or get help from anyone else. Mandy worked closely with Mrs X to ensure she was emotionally supported in her caring role. Mandy told Mrs X that she was entitled to claim for attendance allowance and this extra money financed a cleaner and gardener that freed up time for Mrs X to spend quality time with her husband instead of being overloaded with chores. Mandy also spoke about techniques and materials that were useful to help Mr X understand that Dementia is a big part of many people’s lives, thus normalising Mr X’s fears and giving him confidence to speak more openly about his memory concerns with less fear. Mr and Mrs X now support and understand each other better and can talk to one another about their wishes for the future if, and when Mr X’s needs increase. Mr and Mrs X know that they can contact Mandy at Friendship at Home at any time if they would like any further advice or information and that Mandy will contact them on a regular basis to see how things are going and to ensure they remain supported at all times.
Case Study 2
Mr Z called Friendship at Home because he lived 70 miles away from his mother and felt a huge sense of responsibility to visit her weekly because she was always complaining she was lonely, and her memory was not too good, this was obviously impacting on Mr Z’s family life. At first Mr Z’s mother was reluctant to accept help from outside the family, Clare went to meet Mr Z and his Mother initially, then visited every week for six weeks getting to know her and building trust.
Eventually Mrs Z got used to Clare’s visits, found the information she gave very useful and now meets with our other members at a weekly social club where she has made many friends. Mrs Z knows that she can rely upon Friendship at Home if she has any worries or concerns and she will be given information and encouraged to make her own choices to maintain her independence for as long as possible. Mrs Z now receives attendance allowance and this allows her to finance additional help where she needs it without being so reliant upon her son.
For those who would prefer a telephone call – in addition to, or instead of a home visitor – we now offer our Telephone Befriending service. Members will receive a regular phone call from one of our volunteers, who can lend a friendly ear, offer reassurance or simply be there for a long chat! Many people that are isolated find that just having someone checking in and seeing how they are really boosts their mood.
To enquire about Telephone Befriending, please contact the office on 01472 602500.
These weekly social clubs are held in central locations for people aged 60 plus, and offer access to information, advice, support and social activities. The key function of the clubs is to give our members somewhere to meet where they feel safe and valued, and also gives them the opportunity to meet new people. Many of our members have formed solid friendships and now meet up not only at our clubs, but outside of them as well!
Being a member of a club ensures that all of the older people know that they will leave their homes at least once per week, that someone is expecting them and most importantly that there are people who care.
We have a variety of Friendship Clubs, from bingo groups or clubs that focus on socialising, to a club for those with memory concerns.
All of our club members will also have access to our day trips throughout the year. Our past day trips have included Brigg Garden Centre, Doncaster, Ripon, Millstones at Harrogate, Lincolnshire Home & Antiques Show and Scarborough – to name a few!
Friendship at Home’s New Age Kurling class on a Monday morning is a popular club, with teams often taking part in competitions organised by our local Older People’s Collaborative. This increases social participation and is a lot of fun for our members!
Our Shibashi class on a Tuesday morning is a gentle method of Tai Chi, and is very simple to learn. The class is very calming and can help to reduce stress, and improve both co-ordination and balance.
We also offer a Chair Based exercise class on a Friday morning. This class is run so that older people can do low-intensity exercise with the motivation of a group, but from the comfort of a chair.
All of our exercise classes are designed for over 60s of all abilities and are not too strenuous.
Details of all of our services and activities can be found in the leaflets below. You will need Adobe Reader to view these. Click the link below to download it from the Adobe website.