Mr K is a gentleman who was referred to Friendship at Home by his GP for a wellbeing check on one of our newer projects aimed at general wellbeing for people over 75 years of age. One of our skilled volunteer wellbeing workers visited him and had a friendly chat, they discussed things such as health, safety, financial matters, housing, getting out and about etc to see where Mr K’s quality of life could be enhanced. Mr K really enjoyed the chat, he said the volunteer was “jovial and caring” and he enjoyed her company. Following the conversation, information was passed to the project co-ordinator and it was mutually agreed that Mr K would benefit from telecare and a key safe. This was organised by the co-ordinator and it was discovered that Mr K already had telecare but was not aware of it and did not know how to use it so it was arranged to have this checked and assistance given to Mr K how to use it properly. The key safe was also fitted and both adaptations have since been put to good use as Mr K has had a series of falls and was able to call for help using the telecare system. Emergency services were able to access his property without causing any damage but more importantly as quickly as possible to get him the medical attention he needed promptly.
Mrs M lives in an isolated NEL village, she has been a member of Friendship at Home as part of our befriending service for quite some time and was recently referred by her GP for a wellbeing check. During the wellbeing check, it was discovered that Mrs M was privately funding daily care to assist with essential personal care. This was costly and significantly impacted Mrs M’s financial budget. When the wellbeing worker suggested Mrs M apply for attendance allowance, Mrs M said she had applied for it twice previously and been refused but the wellbeing worker suggested some assistance with the application process and as a result, the attendance allowance was granted. Mrs M stated “I am over the moon with joy I have just received confirmation I have been granted the lower rate of Attendance Allowance, this will make a huge difference to my life, I cannot thank you enough.” The attendance allowance will allow Mrs M to fund further care in the future should she ever need it.
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.
Back in January 2020, local lady Cathy Stafford-Jones decided to challenge herself to a sponsored slim and chose to donate her sponsorship monies to Friendship at Home, for which we are immensely grateful. Cathy lost a whopping 1 ½ stone and raised £400 which will go towards our latest project of opening up a virtual world to enable our older people to be more connected and socially active in these unprecedented times. Of her achievement, Cathy said that she has now taken up jogging and feels more physically able to run with her dogs at agility classes.
Thank you Cathy and very well done
Friendship at Home’s September 2020 newsletter is now available. To view the newsletter, please click here.
A hard copy has been posted out to all our members. Enjoy!
Our AGM is due to take place on Tuesday 29 September 2020 at 1pm, having been postponed from May 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In light of the pandemic, the AGM will be a little bit different this year in that it will be conducted as a closed meeting (staff and Trustees only) so that government restrictions can be adhered to. However, if you would like to join the meeting virtually via Zoom, please contact the office (01472) 602500 for the link and to request the agenda/associated papers or to request meeting papers/minutes after the conclusion of the meeting.
We are sorry things are different this year, but we hope that you will understand.
Kind regards, Friendship at Home
🎊 CONGRATULATIONS TO FRIENDSHIP AT HOME! 🎊
We are excited to announce that Friendship at Home have achieved the Trusted Charity Quality Award and passed all 97 indicators!! A huge thank you to entire staff team and all who helped us gain this huge achievement!
🥰L is used to having a befriender visit and is really missing this but understands that as she is in the shielding group this can not happen yet. We have spoken on the phone at least once a week and I have helped with sorting out shopping for her .
During one of our calls she told me that she has been on the list for a wet room to be in place and had not heard anything about this since the lockdown. She has to have bath attendants now as she is unable to pick her legs up to get in the bath. I got in touch with the appropriate service and they have started to help with this situation. They have taken her a bath lift to try but unfortunately this is no help. While they were talking to her it came to light that she is not claiming all the allowances that she could do.
This as now been rectified for her and she is so pleased as this has enabled her to get extra help and equipment that she can use to make life easier for her. She is looking forward to being able to see her befriender again when able but says that all we have done for in getting this extra help as “been a god send”. She said we always do what we say we will and it makes such a difference knowing someone cares🥰
Good News Stories May 2020
*Members name changed to protect privacy
*Elsie is 88 years old and living with Dementia and although being partially sighted, is still living in her own home with some support in place. Elsie usually attends our weekly social clubs but due to the Corona Virus Lockdown had found herself housebound and without any social interaction except for her carers who tend to her and while they do a fantastic job, they are not there for long, usually 15 minutes.
I began calling Elsie at the beginning of the lockdown period, initially to establish that she had all the correct services in place and that she had someone to do her food shopping and had the prescriptions she needed etc, but also to offer companionship via telephone in what was very uncertain and unprecedented times.
Elsie found this very reassuring and was very grateful for the company. Elsie expressed how much she enjoyed chatting on the phone to someone and asked if I would be able to call more often than the once a week that was initially intended.
I now make regular calls around 3 times a week to Elsie, sometimes more if there has been an issue that Elsie needed help with or if she had a low mood. Elsie particularly enjoys a weekend call as she says that “everyone normally forgets about me on a weekend”.
At first, due to Elsie’s dementia, when making the calls I would have to spend some time explaining who I was and where I was from and convincing Elsie that she did in fact know me and had met me before and then sometime into the call she would have to ask me what my name was again. However, as time has gone on this has changed immensely.
Elsie now recognises my voice immediately as I say Hello and calls me by my name without any prompting whatsoever. Elsie has had less low mood days and is now mostly cheerful and positive and in good spirits during the phone calls. We talk about all sorts and have lots of laughs. Elsie loves her music and singing so we sometimes have a sing song or Elsie will play some music and I have to guess who it is. Elsie said that even though she can’t see me, it feels like I’m there in the room with her and that it helps to pass the long days away. 🥰
Phew what busy but enjoyable day we have had. Delivering puzzles, magazines and other gifts to our lovely members. Thank you to our wonderful volunteer Jimmy for being our delivery driver. When speaking to our members yesterday one lady wished she had some plants to look after in her garden. We made her wish come true 🌈😍
😊🧩An enormous thank you to Gibsons jigsaws. They have very kindly donated 3 cartons of jigsaws for us to give out to our members .
How kind is that and it helps people stay at home.
We will upload some photographs of people receiving the jigsaws once we have them .
Thank you once again Gibsons, this gesture will make a huge difference to our older people and will certainly help reduce their loneliness and isolation🧩😊