Constance & Carolynn
Constance, who has mobility problems due to arthritis, and also cares for her husband who is living with dementia, was referred to the befriending
service by her GP. The couple have no family and very few friends. The GP described Constance as fearfully lonely and now getting quite depressed, she thought a befriender could offer a respite break.
During the assessment visit Constance explained her husband had been in hospital for a few weeks and was currently in a care home for respite but she would welcome a befriender for herself. It was clear that she was dealing with a very difficult and upsetting situation with no support so was a priority to be matched with a befriender.
Constance was matched with befriender Carolynn. They got on really well during the first visit, in fact Constance had lived in the village where Carolynn currently lives so they had lots to talk about. At the end of the first visit Constance gave us a hug and said we had made her day.
Carolynn visits on a weekly basis, she takes Constance to visit her husband in the care home, helps her with shopping and has generally been someone she can talk to as Carolynn also rings for a chat and to check she is well between visits.
Dorothy & Ian
Dorothy was referred to the befriending service by the Fire Service who had been to conduct a Safe and Wellbeing Assessment, and realised that Dorothy was quite lonely. Dorothy has twin daughters but they both work and live in Scotland so she doesn’t see much of them. Her eyesight has also deteriorated rapidly leaving her with quite limited vision.
Ian was introduced to Dorothy and they hit it off straight away. Ian takes Dorothy shopping and then they enjoy a coffee and cake in the café. He helps her with small jobs around the house that she can’t see to do such as replacing batteries and reading mail.
Ian has also arranged for Dorothy to receive the Talking Newspaper and took her to register at the library for talking books and music CDs. More recently they have enjoyed a visit to Hardwick Park in Sedgefield.
Joyce & Glenys
Joyce was referred to Age UK Darlington via the Multi-Disciplinary Team. Joyce is 73 and has multiple health problems. She lives with her husband Bob who
takes on all of her caring responsibilities.
During the assessment visit it was identified that what was worrying Bob most was getting out to do the weekly grocery shopping. He constantly worries
about Joyce being left alone and rushes to do the shopping which was affecting his own health.
Joyce was matched with an Age UK Darlington befriendee, Glenys, who it turns out was an old friend of the family. Glenys now visits every Thursday morning to sit with Jean while Bob goes to do the shopping.
Joyce benefits from the company and someone different to talk to and Bob is also benefitting now that he can take his time with the shopping and even stop for a coffee knowing Joyce is safe.
Brian & John
Brian, who is 80 and living with Dementia, was referred to the befriending scheme to offer respite for his wife.
Brian was introduced to Age UK Darlington befriender John in September 2014. John was unsure at first as when he signed up to volunteer he presumed the befriending scheme was for people who are on their own. However after meeting Brian and his wife John realised that there is as much need for the befriending
services in offering respite.
John and Brian get on really well as they have a lot of things in common. They meet every Friday afternoon and enjoy a varied range of trips and activities including visits to railway museums, the library and have even been known to call and have an odd pint or two. Brian really enjoys these sessions and his wife benefits from some time to herself.