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BETTY

Betty was caught in a classic vicious circle. Following a fall and long-term hospital stay, she became withdrawn and lonely. As she became less active, she lost more strength and social confidence, leading her to become even less active – and more likely to have another fall.

Betty's local Live at Home Scheme supported her from the early days of leaving hospital. A volunteer befriender helped her to regain her confidence by walking with assistance, first to the end of the street and then to a local shop, until she could get there by herself. The befriender also took her to exercise classes and introduced her to a neighbour for a taxi share.

Her increased strength and confidence led Betty to join her local StayActive4Life class, where she has also made friends. Her improved physical and mental wellbeing mean she is more independent, stronger, more confident – and at a decreased risk of falls.

ROGER

Roger was referred through Bournville Village Trust to take advantage of his local Live at Home Scheme’s befriending service and activities programme to enhance his health and wellbeing.

The scheme was able to match him in the first instance with a volunteer befriender who was a recently retired Merchant Navy Officer. As Roger had served in the Navy during the Second World War, they had much to talk about and their relationship was going from strength to strength. Roger also joined in various outings and activities run by the scheme and enjoyed them very much.

Unfortunately, after a year, the volunteer befriender moved away from Birmingham and the Scheme needed to find another volunteer to visit Roger regularly. Initially very sceptical, Roger agreed that he would meet Lee - a university student - and they appeared to get on well from their first conversation. 

Roger received a visit several times a week from Lee, including during his spells in hospital and also visiting the nursing home when he was discharged each time for recuperation.

His daughter Jan remembers being at the hospital with her father when Lee arrived to visit. Roger looked at the doorway and, with a big smile on his face, said "It’s Lee!"

"I enjoyed my visits to see Roger very much. He reminded me of my Grandfather back in Vietnam. Through Roger I have been introduced to the delights of rice pudding – one of Roger’s favourite desserts", commented Lee.

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