Andrew is in his mid-50s and suffers from a medical condition which affects his mobility. He had lived all his life with his mother, in the family home, until she passed away in 2002 and since then has lived alone. He has no other family members and no close friends.
A referral was made by Three Villages Medical Practice to a Link Officer at a Multi-Disciplinary Team meeting because he suffered from social isolation and loneliness.
Andrew had worked at a local supermarket for 25 years, but developed a medical condition and had to take early retirement. Andrew only left his home once a week to visit the local supermarket where he used to work.
His only companion was his cat. Andrew felt he was okay living a solitary life because this was all he had ever done.
Andrew doesn’t find it easy to make friends and became emotional, saying that this was the first time in his life he had been able to open up to someone. He also felt disappointed that he had lost contact with a friend when he became ill and would love to be in touch with him again. The Link Officer was able to identify a range of support within the voluntary sector, based on Andrew’s interests including; Summit House, who hold a men’s social group twice a month, Age UK Dudley, who offer 1-1 and group IT sessions. He is now attending the group sessions, which has enabled him to meet new friends and socialise. Andrew is also going on day trips. Although he is not able to walk far, he enjoys the social aspect of the coach journey and is considering purchasing a mobility scooter, which he can then take with him.
In the mean-time, with the Link Officers help, Andrew is now registered with Shop Mobility and is now able to hire a mobility scooter. The Link Officer was able to locate his lost friend and they are now reacquainted.
Andrew is now going out more; he is learning new IT skills, which is helping him to be more proficient with on-line shopping and using social media platforms, such as Facebook. He is meeting new friends and socializing.
Andrew now feels he has more of a social life, his life is enriched and his confidence is growing.
Andrew stated “due to this disability I have had to give up work and I am now virtually housebound. The link officer has opened up a lot of possibilities for me by encouraging me to become involved with a number of activities which has been a massive help, she has done really well and it has made a huge difference to my life.”