Stroke is a sudden and devastating illness that occurs due to problems with the blood supply to the brain; either the blood supply is blocked or the blood within the brain is ruptured causing the brain tissue to die.  This can cause overwhelming life changes in one’s life, however many people are unaware of its widespread impact.   Mr. B has suffered a major stroke and is unable to live at home due to damage done to his property that has left a large hole in his roof. My colleague and I have supported Mr B in a holistic way as best as we can, (ongoing case), and have come to have a very good rapport with Mr B.  We assured him that we were not there to judge but to support him in every possible way and for this reason he opened up and gave us a glimpse of his life and well- being.

Because of the complexity of this case different professional bodies were drafted in, regular meetings were held in several locations, social workers and all other relevant workers were informed every step of the way. Mr B is now registered homeless, his insurers will not take responsibility to fix his house due to wear and tear and asbestos is also reported to be found in the house as well making it uninhabitable. Due to  Mr. B’s stroke, he might not be able to work again, he’s  not sure how much longer he is entitled to the half of wages he is receiving at the moment, he has no savings and no friends of family to be supported by.

I have taken a holistic approach in supporting Mr. B in every way possible, supported him to open and close accounts via the telephone and at the bank, set up direct debts, took contractors to his house to get estimates for repairs, accompanied him home several times, to view properties and to visit housing officers or just sit and talk to him, held his hand when he stumbled, made sure he had eaten when hungry, laugh and cried with him.   At times he appears lost and overwhelmed with the reality of his illness and losing his home, he is trying to come to terms with it.

In conclusion, most people with care needs will get help from their local authorities; however, if they are not sure how to access these services and/or also lack the capacity to do so there is a risk of future vulnerability and destitution.  For this reason I believe the charity has made and will persist to make a positive impact on the lives of others we come in contact with on a week to week basic in supporting them.  I continue to strive to do my utmost best and look forward to the journey ahead in making a difference.

Home from Hospital Referral – October 2016

 Subject: thank you

Just wanted to thank you and your team  for the wonderful befriending support you provide… and its free

I made a referral to yoursleves for a Mr C 14/10/16.

I contacted Mrs C 21/10/2016 who is thrilled with the befriender E (volunteer), who is sitting with D Tuesdays 11-1pm and Thursday evening 7-9pm so that B can go out shopping and swimming.

Thank you for the speedy response, I has made such a difference to Mr and Mrs C.

 

Many thanks

 

Community Enablement

As a volunteer I have often given people my personal telephone number to re-assure patients if on their own, that they have someone to call.    Little did I realise just how important this simple act was.

I got a call from a very frantic elderly lady who was on holiday in Torquay with a lady I had worked with.   She had collapsed in the street and an ambulance had been called, she rang me as my card was in the ladies purse.

I was able to give the ambulance driver a list of her conditions and medications and her daughters telephone number as she lives in France.

The hospital called me to say that she was on life support and could I let her daughter know as they had not been able to reach her.

I drove down to Torquay to be with this lady whilst she was on life support but also to support her friend who is also an elderly lady that she was having a short holiday with as she was alone and did not know what to do.

Sadly she passed away before her daughter could get over to England.    I was honoured to be able to offer this service for a lady I was very fond of whilst I volunteering with her after a stay in hospital after a fall.

G was a child abused by both his parents, he was taken into care at the age of 8 years, lived in a children’s home until the age of 16 when he went to agricultural college. G has never married, he says he was frightened a wife might turn into the sort of woman his mother was, and has lived his whole life alone.

The HFHC co-ordinator first met G in hospital when delivering a food parcel for him to take home on discharge. On that first meeting G talked of his beloved cat which had recently died at the age of 17. It was obvious G was grieving.

The first visit at home G needed support to sort out a problem with a refurbished washing machine he had recently bought and had fitted which was leaking. The co-ordinator was able to contact the supplier and arrange an appointment later that day to have the leak mended. On this visit G again talked sadly of his cat.

On the second visit G was talking about his cat and the co-ordinator discussed with him how he would feel about another cat, G said it was all he wanted. The third visit the co-ordinator was able to tell G she had found a kitten which would be ready in a couple of weeks if he was interested. G stated he would like to have the kitten very much. The fourth visit G talked happily about the kitten and told the co-ordinator the name he had chosen.

The fifth visit was to deliver the kitten, along with the necessary tray, litter and food. ( G cried when given the kitten. ) A visit the following week showed all to be well, kitten and G thriving.

The next visit G had bought a cooker from the same supplier, the oven wasn’t working and he was sure the cooker delivered was not the cooker he chose. The co-ordinator phoned the supplier and arranged to take G to the shop, the co-ordinator was able to secure a better cooker at no extra cost to G, to be delivered and fitted the next day. The co-ordinator arranged a final visit for the following week.

G and kitten doing well. G’s whole demeanour improved and he appeared to be in better spirits from the moment the kitten was delivered. G was given details of a charity which will take care of the kitten if he is admitted back into hospital. The co-ordinator agreed to take G and the kitten to the PDSA when the time comes for her to be spayed. G has a contact number for HfHC to use if he has any problems.

The client was a 90 year old lady who had a fall and broke her wrist whilst visiting her 93 year old sister in a nursing home. She was also suffering from Macular Degeneration. The client was previously very independent but lost her confidence and was very emotional following the fall. The volunteer visited her and sorted out her paperwork for her, put them into polypockets and labelled them in big letters so that she could find them. She also arranged for the bills to be paid by direct debit and copied out all the phone numbers in large print so that the client could read them easily. The volunteer also made a big chart for the wall so that she could easily see what appointments had been set up for the following week as the client was getting confused.

As the client did all her washing herself, the volunteer arranged for a laundry service to collect and wash her sheets and towels. She also arranged for a water meter to be installed which cut her water bills considerably.

The volunteer accompanied the client to visit her sister and encouraged her to use taxis for the future. The volunteer made enquiries, arranged a taxi service and went with her for the first few visits.

Due to poor eyesight, the volunteer installed “daylight bulbs” in the house and found some magnifying glasses, she also arranged for all her bills to be issued in large print.

By the end of her visits, the volunteer had managed to increase the client’s confidence; she was now going out on her own using taxis and buses, she felt more in control with her bills and laundry sorted out. The volunteer invested a large amount of time and effort with this client but the results were well worth it.

A volunteer visited a lady aged 85 who had been admitted to hospital with shortness of breath and needed help with shopping and paying bills. A food parcel was delivered to her on the ward prior to her discharge and the volunteer visited soon after. The volunteer paid her bills for her and tried to encourage her to set up direct debits but she was reluctant to do this. It was decided that after the visits came to an end the client would take a taxi to the post office to get her money and pay her bills. As the lady was getting confused with her medication, the volunteer arranged for the pharmacist to deliver them in blister packs. She also helped the client to claim for Attendance Allowance. The volunteer organised for an agency to continue the shopping calls once the visits ceased.

A 77 year old man suffering from Parkinson’s Disease was in hospital when his wife died. The family asked if it would be possible for someone to accompany him to the funeral and the wake. I met the patient on the ward and agreed to accompany him. The hospital provided a wheelchair for the day. The family provided a taxi from the hospital; we then went to his home and followed the hearse to the crematorium. Following the funeral, I left the patient with his family and returned to the hospital. I visited the patient the following day to see how he was. The family were very appreciative of the support.

A young lady aged 26 had been involved in a car accident. During her stay in hospital she became homeless as she was not able to access her accommodation which was on the third floor. As she was a warehouse operative she was also not able to return to work. The charity was asked to provide a befriending service, help with shopping and signposting to agencies. The volunteer took the client back to her old address to collect her belongings and escorted her to her hospital appointments. She also arranged for her to be registered with a doctor in order that she could get her sick notes to enable her to claim her benefits. The volunteer took her to the employment agency and arranged for counselling as the client was suffering from post-traumatic stress following the accident. The volunteer supported the client until she was satisfied that she could manage and as other agencies were involved she was confident that the client was no longer in a vulnerable state. The client eventually returned to work.

The family of a 91 year old man were concerned as he had been admitted to hospital with a broken hip; he was also suffering from cataracts and mild dementia. The client’s wife had died the previous year and he was missing her a great deal. Whist in hospital, the client had several episodes of entering a catatonic state and staff had difficulty arousing him. His son telephoned Home from Hospital asking if it would be possible to visit his father on the ward and chat to him in an effort to stimulate him. He had no family in Birmingham as both his sons lived in Devon and Plymouth; they tried to come up as often as possible but felt that he needed more interaction. I agreed to visit him as much as possible as I worked in the hospital. We chatted about his life and family. The client remained in hospital for a couple of months until the family were able to relocate him to a nursing home nearer to them. He died a few weeks after moving but the family said that he last days were happy. The funeral took place back in Birmingham and I was able to attend and represent the charity.

A volunteer visited to do shopping for a couple. The husband aged 77 had been admitted to hospital following a blackout. Both he and his wife were very frail and although he had been driving before he went into hospital he had lost confidence since his discharge. The volunteer did the shopping and found out that the client did all their washing by hand; she took their clothes to the launderette for them. After a few weeks they decided that it was time to get a washing machine. As the client had been in the army she arranged for the British Legion to purchase and install the washing machine. They also repaired his back gate free of charge. The client was very pleased with the work and made a donation to both HFHC and British Legion.