Lisa is a 91 year old woman who has been an Orbit South Housing association resident for 56 years.  She was referred to Sova as she had recently lost her Husband of 68 years, this impacted her ability to sustain her property and tenancy as well as her emotional wellbeing.

Lisa was relatively independent and continued to care for herself personally and was active in going shopping on her own.  However, when we first met, Lisa raised some concerns.  She was struggling to get in and out of her property due to the steep steps leading to the entrance, I counted 24 in total and these became extremely dangerous when wet. She had recently slipped on them hurting her leg.  Lisa could also not tend to her garden, which was her husband’s pride and joy and was overgrown and unmanageable.  The property is also too large for her and she struggles with the internal stairs. 

Upon further discussions we were able to identify some additional areas of need, Lisa was socially isolated since the passing of her husband and her family lived in Canada, Lisa was having some financial difficulties; for example she was paying £70 a month for her home phone and was not in receipt of the appropriate benefits.

Between us we agreed on some actions to move forward, these were too:

  • Complete an application for a move to sheltered housing where she would have more social interactions and it would be physically easier for her to go out into the community. This would also make Lisa feel safer.
  • Change her phone provider to reduce her outgoing bills and also install broadband so that she could Skype with her family in Canada
  • Apply for an Orbit Better Days Grant to obtain a laptop
  • Complete a benefit check
  • Refer Lisa to breathing space who provide support to Orbit residents who have emotional and mental health concerns
  • Refer Lisa to Evergreen who provide fully vetted gardeners
  • Refer to Age UK

To date we have been able to identify some additional benefits that Lisa was entitled to.  She has been allocated a befriender through Evergreen and they are assessing her gardening needs.  Breathing Space are supporting her to attend social activities and Age UK are carrying out a needs assessment and will submit her claim for Attendance Allowance. 

We submitted an application for Sheltered housing and she has been to view the property which she accepted. Sova accompanied her to complete her needs and risk assessment and she has since moved in.

We have also offered Lisa some additional support such as applying for Dial-a-Ride and sewing groups which she has declined at this date but is pleased to know she can access them in the future.

“I can now go shopping for new things for my flat in town without fear of having to carry the bags up stairs and falling over. I now a have social life because I can speak with the other residents. The befriender you referred to me will continue to meet with me weekly. Thank you very much for your support.”