Eveline and Betty are firm friends, they meet at the Salvation Army Day Care every Friday and phone for a chat and to check up on each other in the week. But life was very different for them before they were introduced through Brightlife.
EVELINE: At 94 and with her eyesight rapidly deteriorating Eveline recognised she needed to stop driving which left her very isolated. “Losing your car is like losing a friend” she explains. After this, a broken hip led to a prolonged stay in hospital had left her isolated, and with her children and grandchildren living in other parts of the country, life could get very lonely.
BETTY: Betty had also struggled with ill health after a bad fall resulted in a broken back and she’d been confined to wearing a painful brace for many months until her crushed vertebrae healed. Whilst on morphine for the pain she fell again and was admitted to hospital until she was able to return home. Whilst Betty is living independently again she receives twice weekly visits from a local care agency and enjoys a regular phone call from Snow Angels and support with medical appointments. “I’ve lived in my house for 40 years and I want to stay there. I’m very independent and that’s important to me – but it can get lonely.”
Both ladies were referred into Brightlife; Eveline through the Community Matron from the integrated Services at Leighton Hospital and Betty through her GP in Winsford. Jackie Brown (Social Prescribing Coordinator for Winsford) spent time getting to know them individually and finding out about their interests.
It was clear that the biggest barrier for both ladies was getting out and socialising due to health restraints. After careful consideration Jackie approached the Salvation Army Friday Day Care group as she felt this could help to alleviate the loneliness and isolation for both ladies.
She arranged transport for them to attend a joint trial visit and both ladies settled in straight away and Betty and Eveline have been attending the Salvation Army Day Care each week thanks also to the support of volunteer drivers.
The friends agree that meeting up is the best thing that’s happened to them!
“I’m 97, I don’t feel old, I don’t dress old and am lucky to have a good family even though I don’t see them very often. I have a pension so there’s nothing I need. But this is the highlight of my week… to come and see Betty. I don’t know what we’d have done if we’d never met.”
Jackie also referred both Ladies into one of Brightlife’s newly commissioned activites in Winsford the Community Compass “Share Club” and Betty and Eveline have already enjoyed a number of social weekend events thanks to this service.