Befriending & Reablement
Mr.N is a 78 year old gentleman who sadly lost his wife 4 years ago. He had never come to terms with her death and subsequently had become very depressed. He had tried Cognitive Behavioural Therapy but it had not helped. His depression, combined with some physical health issues had led to him becoming isolated which only served to make his depression worse. At this point he was referred to the Age Concern Liverpool & Sefton Befriending & Reablement Service; a service which helps isolated and lonely older people living in Sefton to get the support they need to start enjoying life again.
At his first meeting with our Befriending & Reablement Officer (BRO), it was suggested that Mr.N might benefit from a referral into Age Concern’s person centred counselling service. Despite his reservations Mr.N agreed to attend a session and soon found that it was actually helping to lift his depression.
We also helped Mr.N to relax, reducing his tension and anxiety by practising breathing techniques which the Bro had been taught by a Mindfulness Practitioner from a personal development company called “A Quiet Place”.
At the same time, the BRO provided some practical support to Mr.N, arranging for the Fire & Rescue Service to install smoke alarms and to check his house for hazards. She also encouraged him to get a personal alarm so that he felt safe of a night time.
Slowly Mr.N’s confidence grew and his depression receded. He started to go to the Formby Luncheon Club and volunteered to be responsible for the lunch monies. He also volunteered at a local cafe that runs a coffee morning for older people. Volunteering made Mr.N feel useful again and raised his morale and self-esteem; it also enlarged his social circle. He soon formed a strong friendship with another widower, and they undertook outings together.
As the time with his BRO drew to a close, MR.N decided that rather than have a Volunteer Befriender, he would get more out of being a Volunteer Befriender himself. He subsequently went on to complete the application form and went through the process which all volunteers are required to follow to ensure that they are suitable for the role.
With the support of Age Concern’s Befriending & Reablement Service Mr.N has regained his confidence and his purpose in life and has discovered that he is happiest when he is helping other people in his volunteer capacity.
If you would like the support of the Befriending & Reablement Service or would like to become a volunteer for us; then please contact us on 01704 542 993.