This week we will be sharing case studies from the service users of each charity. Today we share with you the story of Mr and Mrs M from Alzheimers Society Cymru.
We received a referral from Tier 1 Dementia Connect Services. The referral was to support Mr & Mrs M. Mrs M who is the wife and carer of Mr M, was concerned about having to isolate due to covid19.
Mr M was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease in 2019. Mrs M is the main carer, they live in their own home. But Mrs M recently had an eye operation which meant she was no longer able to drive. This then impacted on what they were able to do. Although they have 2 adult children, they do not live in the local area.
Once an initial assessment was completed, it became clear that support was required with ongoing food shopping. I made a referral to Adult Social Service, as they had set up support for vulnerable people during the lockdown. A response was completed within 24 hours of the referral. Social Services referred them to support worker from Pobl, who was able to complete a food shop and collect medication every Monday.
Mrs H was extremely grateful for the support and explained that she would appreciate weekly calls. Mrs H is usually a sociable person who is registered with several groups, trusts and clubs. Isolation was making her miss the social contact and conversation. Mrs M stated ‘I don’t get any conversation from my husband; he just shuts down’.
Weekly welfare calls were completed with Mrs M. She was always so grateful for the calls, explaining on a number of occasions how she values the Alzheimer’s Society. Mrs M felt that we understood her and what she was experiencing with Mr M. Mrs M has had previous support from Alzheimer’s Society and discussed how happy she is with our service. Mrs M stated ‘everyone who I have spoken to has been helpful and I am so thankful to you all’.
A few weeks after the referral Mrs M injured her hip/leg. She was experiencing excruciating pain and had to use her husband’s mobility aids. Mrs M made me aware that she had been overdoing it within the home, clearing the garage, mowing the lawn and other tasks that needed completing. Due to having a heart issue, Mrs M is only able to take paracetamol. The pain was debilitating. Due to GP’s
only giving telephone appointments there was no real diagnosis. Mrs M was in pain when standing, but fine lying down.
As an independent woman and carer the pain was having an impact on Mrs M’s physical and mental wellbeing. I suggested referring to social services again. Mrs M agreed to me completing a referral.
Mrs M was contacted by Social Services within 48hours. They offered physiotherapy and support from carers. Due to covid19 Mrs M was reluctant to allow anyone in her home because of the risk of catching covid19.
Mrs M reached out to a neighbour/friend, who offered her some support. She also had a visit from her daughter and son-in-law, who will visit each week to help with household tasks.
Although the pain is still there, Mrs M is determined to get back to being pain free and mobile. I continue to make welfare calls. Mrs M does have the number for Home Care Help. Mrs M stated, ‘once the risk of covid19 reduces, I will happily get in contact, but I’m hoping my pain decreases before then’.
During this difficult time (covid19 lockdown), the basic services we offer such as a Welfare Call, can have such a positive impact on our service users lives. Having somebody to talk to, sharing information beneficial to their needs, and offering emotional support helps our service users feel a sense of belonging, and makes them aware of support available. Offering support in a positive way, also encourages service users to return for support if required.