A Community Connector at Reach and Connect has recently helped an elderly man with health and mobility issues to improve his day-to-day wellbeing by connecting with others in his community.
Bob* was initially referred to the Reach and Connect service for support with making the most of his income. Through home visits, the Community Connector learned that he had suffered a stroke the year prior, causing him ongoing health and mobility issues, and now uses a manual wheelchair. He had also moved into Palace Gates, a supported accommodation complex in Haringey.
Bob explained that he spent all day in his flat, seeing only his carer once a day and the occasional visitor, and this culminated in feelings of loneliness. He was new to a wheelchair and found his front door difficult to open. He was no longer physically able to get out and about like he used to.
Within his supported accommodation there is a communal lounge, with regular activities taking place such as art, bingo and music sessions.
Having taken all this on board, the Community Connector made contact with the Projects and Activities Coordinator at the hub and the Follow Your Art group.
An assisted door is now planned for Bob's home, thanks to the Support and Wellbeing staff for supported housing hubs in Haringey. This will enable Bob to leave and enter with ease, increasing his level of independence, but in the meantime, the activity organisers knock on his door to help him to get out and make his was to the communal lounge. With this support, Bob regularly attends art and music sessions and really enjoys himself.
Christina and Pauline, the organisers of the Follow Your Art session, said: “He said it was lovely to be amongst people and socialising as he has felt isolated since his stroke. He is determined to get better and do his exercises, and he told us some of the experiences he had had over his 20 years of employment. He said he would like to join more activities to get him out of his flat and if it was possible for a befriending service to visit him at his flat as it can be quite lonely. It’s clear he's very sociable person, him coming to the classes is a great starting point.”
The Community Connector also helped Bob to apply successfully for Attendance Allowance, Dial-a-Ride and a Taxicard, all of which gives him more freedom.
This is just one example of how Community Connectors at Reach and Connect strive to use co-working methods with organisations across Haringey to provide the best possible outcomes for local people over 50, and how having existing close relationships with other professionals makes it easier to do this.
*The persons name has been changed for this article.