In Their Own Words

Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, Agewell has been providing wellbeing telephone support calls and online exercise classes for older people across Sandwell. Here’s some feedback from two of our clients which shows the difference we’ve been making...

A Happy Voice

Lorraine from West Bromwich says hearing a happy Agewell voice on the phone really lifts her spirits at the start of each week.

“Amy from Agewell calls every Monday to see if we’re all right or if we need anything,” says Lorraine. “She’s really lovely and I can tell she’s smiling. She tells me not to be afraid and I really look forward to her call. It’s so nice to know she’s there when there are so many things going on at home.”

Lorraine’s husband, Terry, who has Parkinson’s disease, has found it hard to cope during the pandemic. “Terry has struggled mentally with Covid and it’s affected him badly,” she says. “We’ve both been isolating as we live with my 92-year-old mother who has cancer and we’ve needed to shield her. Not being able to go out at all has accelerated Terry’s condition. He needs to interact with other people.”

Agewell’s online exercise classes and videos have been a big help. Lorraine explains: “We used to go to the exercise class at West Bromwich Leisure Centre. It would have been easy for Agewell to do nothing when the class had to stop, but tutor Alison has really gone the extra mile. She really cares about people.

“Terry and I do some of her live Facebook classes and use the videos too. We’re also in Alison’s WhatsApp group and know there are people out there who can help. We’re just taking one day at a time.”

Helping Us Through

Lockdown was difficult for Anthea from West Bromwich but she found Khatoon Hussain’s weekly phone calls very helpful and looked forward to them.

“I really suffered quite badly with anxiety as my husband Omar and I started self-isolating on 10th March and didn’t go outside at all until August. It was really tough. Prior to lockdown, our children visited often, but because they’re in Madrid, Manchester and Plymouth they could only keep in touch via phone and video-call.

“Khat used to call every Thursday just to check on us and said we could call her anytime if we needed to. She’s like a friend, not just our exercise tutor from the Lodge Road class.

“We’d been planning a celebration for our 50th wedding anniversary and had to cancel it, which was hard. I was so nervous about the virus and wouldn’t even go to the front door. We put a notice up saying to leave deliveries in the porch.

“Khat told us about the services Agewell were able to offer. She let us know that if we were ever stuck or struggling, Agewell could get us our shopping. I called her a couple of times just to chat.

“Now I’m doing Khat’s exercise classes on Zoom and she always says ‘have a little chat amongst yourselves first’ which is really nice. She’s been so good and is helping us get through this. My daughter says ‘you’ve got to live’ and she’s right.”