Phyllis was a 67 year old woman who lived on her own. She contacted us explaining that she needed some help. She had been unable to work for a number of years due to ill health. She had suffered two heart attacks and as a result had to have numerous operations and has been left feeling very breathless. This had resulted in her becoming more and more isolated in her own home and lacking the confidence to go out. She had no family nearby and her friends did not live locally. She had quite a lot of support from her neighbours but she didn't like to rely on them too much. She struggled to maintain her home and it was getting her down.
What did she want to achieve?
Phyllis identified her financial situation as something she wanted to sort out and something that was causing her some distress. She also identified lots of other goals such as increasing exercise, improving her social life, being able to keep a clean and tidy home, doing small DIY jobs, finding a different means of transport, going back to the hair salon, gaining confidence with going out, and regaining her independence.
How did Living Well support Phyllis?
The Living Well agreement was used to ask her about her current situation and what she wanted to achieve. Identifying what strengths she had and support networks in place also enabled us to focus on the positives in her life and to build on them.
Phyllis agreed to be referred to the income maximisation team which helped her to gain attendance allowance and a reduction in her council tax bill. This meant she had more money to spend on social activities and jobs around the house.
Phyllis said that she had got to a stage where she had been in the four walls of her house for so long, not feeling that she could go out, that she became more and more demotivated. The Living Well coordinator provided support around motivation, helping to prioritise her goals. Visiting each week gave her the motivation to get the jobs done. Another area of support was to build her confidence to be able to connect with the local community, for example taking her to the local chair exercise group in the village hall which resulted in meeting people who offered her regular lifts to the class.
What was the outcome?
Phyllis achieved all her goals and many more. She has become a member of the U3A and joined several groups.
She joined in with the local visiting scheme social activities. She regained confidence at leaving the house and even decided to try driving again. She bought a more economical car with the help from a friend and also had help to sell her old one.
She has felt more motivated to get things done and happier that she is socialising with people and being able to talk to people about current affairs.
Phyllis said "Before Living Well I found that the less I did, the less I wanted to do. Now I feel motivated to do more and I am really enjoying meeting new people and learning new things".