Experience – Isolation and Loneliness

Without my Link Worker I’d still be shut up in my house

My experience of the link service is a very positive one. I met Jane when she came for a visit, after a talk it was decided that I would benefit from this service. Jane would come to the house and pick me up, then we would go out for a walk and decide what would happen next. She helped me get into a craft group (not an easy task), we were getting on really well till a group of about 6 people entered at one time. I escaped panicking and could not go back in.

After trying another couple of things Jane suggested we go down to FDAMH and we went up into her office. Next she introduced me to the Next Step Course and came with me on the days out, I was quite secure when we were out in the open I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Jane continued to support me in many other ways too, I could only get off the bus at one bus stop, so Jane met me at the bus-stop for a few weeks then she got on the bus with me to a stop nearer the centre, this was very scary for me as I was afraid she would not get on the bus. After another couple of weeks she met me at the next bus stop instead of coming on the bus. After that she would meet me further and further down the road till the first time I made it on my own, You have no idea how I felt that day.

I was introduced to the Arts and Media Group, this was amazing, I actually got up on stage in front of a crowd of over 100 people and played my part in our brilliant play, ‘We are all Bobby’, my husband and son could not believe it! We are now rehearsing for a Comedy charity night during Mental Health Awareness Week in October, can’t wait.

With Jane’s encouragement I applied to be a volunteer with the Third Age Befriending Project, I completed the training, I am now waiting to be matched with a befriendee, who would have thought it!

Without the help of Jane as my link worker I would still be shut up in my house, I cannot say how big a support the Link service is.

Tags: Activity Groups, Anxiety, Isolation and Loneliness, Link Service, Panic, Volunteering
25/11/2013 at 7:14 pm

Third Age Befriending – “I like the looking forward”

On our first meeting, we went to see a friend of mine who had had a heart attack. I hadn’t been able to see her and I was so desperate. It was great seeing her and I felt really relieved at being able to see her.

We go out all the time. It’s been, oh, about two years since I was last out in Falkirk, well, anywhere! My befriender took me down to Falkirk and I was amazed at how much it has changed! Some really great changes. I kept on bumping into people who I knew and they couldn’t believe I was out and about again. Some didn’t know I was in a wheelchair now. My befriender said ” Do you know everyone in Falkirk?!”We went down again, the following week and my befriender met loads of people she kent, so it was my turn to say “Do you ken everyone in Falkirk?!”

We went to Dunelm Mill, which I had heard about from neighbours. It’s fabulous, really good. I got some cushions, for the flat, which really cheered me up. I got a throw for my chair too. Lovely colours. I loved it there, I could spend a fortune. We’re going back again, and trying the café this time.

I get a bit of my independence back, it’s totally up to us what we do, and where we go. I’m going to places I used to only hear about. Just being able to pick my own, nice cushions! I really like her company, she’s good to blether to, always and I’d really miss her. I love getting out in the car again. I just love it.

I think the best thing about the befriending is that I look forward to her coming. Seems silly, but just knowing I’m going to be getting out later in the week helps a lot. I like the looking forward.

Tags: Isolation and Loneliness, Third Age Befriending
25/11/2013 at 6:50 pm

The time my befriender gives me means such a lot

We went to Matalan, which is the first time I’ve been to the shops in 6 months. Even before, it was straight to the shops, get what you need and back out again. But with my befriender I can take my time and look at stuff, try stuff on, talk, just look at the stuff and have a laugh. Be normal.

I really enjoy her company. I really do. You name it, we talk about it. It’s like I’ve known her for so long. I’ve really taken to her. She helps calm me. I can get rid of a lot that plays on my mind, worries me and I don’t realise I’m doing it (worrying). She’s helping me cope with my illness 100%, just by taking my mind off it. Just having someone who can sit and talk, it helps. For the time she gives me, it means such a lot.

It doesn’t feel like she was ever a stranger. She’s down to earth and homely. Just a lovely homely girl, you know, just makes you feel right at home.She talks to me too, about her busy life and hearing about someone else’s life makes me remember that I’m the same as everybody else. I’d like to think I can help her too. And she brings me my special sweeties, every week. Angel.

Thank you so much, I feel better and I thoroughly enjoy seeing my befriender.

(This person was benefiting from a befriender through the Third Age Befriending project)


Tags: Isolation and Loneliness, Third Age Befriending
25/11/2013 at 6:44 pm

The best bit is blethering!

My befriender and I go walking. We started round the garden, then the street and we go a little further every week. I didn’t go out before. The best bit of the meetings is our blethering, having a laugh. I like our conversations, I look forward to her coming and feel a bit brighter afterwards. I want to concentrate on my physical strength before thinking about groups and clubs. I still have bad days, about 1 in 7, but that’s better than before.

Tags: Isolation and Loneliness, Third Age Befriending
25/11/2013 at 6:39 pm