Agewell Older People’s Champion, Steve Simcox befriended Brian and helped to keep him positive as his illnesses progressed.
Brian’s main carer was his wife, Doreen, who suffers with MS. When her husband died, she struggled to cope. Older People’s Champion, Karen Allen, along with Steve, began visiting Doreen regularly to provide support and to help her to find a way to feel more positive about life.
When she received a £400 telephone bill as a result of dialing 118, Steve took up the case on her behalf. Following numerous telephone calls and a great deal of paperwork, Steve managed to get £100 refunded by Talk Talk.
Doreen was finding it hard living alone in a large flat in Rowley Regis and Steve helped her to move to sheltered housing so that she could have more support.
“When you’re suddenly left after 21 years, it’s hard to pick up the threads of life,” says Doreen. “Karen and Steve (pictured here with Doreen) have been very helpful and very kind. Steve has taken me to a local exercise class and is encouraging me to get more involved in the activities here. I just need to pluck up the courage.
“I’ve never done anything on my own, my husband did it all, so I feel very lost at the moment. Steve's visits are making a big difference to me. Me and my husband used to have lots of discussions and talk about different issues with many different people. Steve is very knowledgeable so we’re able to have interesting chats. I don’t feel old and I don’t want to sit watching TV. I want to get out and be more active but I’m finding it so hard without my husband.
“Steve is taking me to the Agewell Rowley Regis Forum so I can meet different people and he’s teaching me how to use a computer.” Steve has also helped Doreen to get a mobility scooter and is taking her around the grounds so she can practice driving it with confidence.
Steve says: “Visiting Doreen on a regular basis is helping her to become more independent and more informed of what is out there in the big wide world. She’s really keen to become involved in community groups and activities but needs someone to be there with her to begin with. During mine and Karen's visits over the past few weeks, we have seen her become a lot more proactive as she slowly gains a new confidence.”
Personal Outcomes for Doreen:
- A 10% increase in general health and wellbeing
- A 21% increase in mental health and wellbeing
- Re-connected socially
- Maintained independent living