2020 has been a rollercoaster for all of us but in particular the elderly and vulnerable people in our community, putting a huge strain on their mental heath. Many of the people we support live alone, or have little to no support network.
During the pandemic, we’ve been working even harder to combat loneliness and isolation, working with our members to ensure they get the support and care they need.
We want to share the story of one of our members, who had been suffering with anxiety attacks, feelings of loneliness and even weight loss. It was important to us to try and improve her mental health and support her through this challenging time.
Alice was struggling with lockdown, feeling isolated and lonely when a help leaflet dropped through her door with details of Supporting Older People (SOP).
She picked up the phone and spoke to Julia who encouraged her to contact her Doctor to help with her anxiety and depression. Julia explained about our telephone befriending service and how she could be matched with a friendly volunteer for a regular telephone call.
Sophie had come forward to volunteer and she was matched with Alice. They get on like a house on fire! Enjoying getting to know each other and looking forward to their chats. Alice says “she adores Sophie”.
Alice now has frozen meals delivered from Pablo’s Kitchen who works with Supporting Older People supplying homemade meals. Alice thinks Paul’s dishes are amazing, she describes herself as a plain cook and says Paul’s meals are varied and delicious, not something she would choose on a menu. Before Paul’s meals, Alice was barely eating and had lost weight but has now gained that weight back. Not only does she enjoy the food but looks forward to the deliveries too as it gives her the chance to have a little chat with the driver, another from of contact she didn’t have before.
As Alice was feeling lonely and isolated, her Doctor referred her to the Mental Health Service. Alice was contacted by Mary and the therapist team – when Alice’s mental health was first measured, her mental health score was 18, during and after support from SOP her score went down to 8. Her panic attacks have also stopped and she no longer feels isolated or alone. Alice now feels part of something and feels so much happier, she enjoys our newsletters and has recommended SOP to two other people.
Alice told our team, the day she contacted Supporting Older People changed her life and she cannot thank us enough.
Talking to Alice and finding out how much happier she is and how much SOP has helped to improve her mental health and wellbeing is why we do what we do.
If you know someone like Alice who might need a helping hand and someone to talk too, then please get in touch with our friendly team on 07535 508043.