In the first of a number of case studies, we are sharing some of the stories of the older people who have been supported by our volunteers. Today we meet Mrs R and find out how a Silverlinks volunteer supported her through her decision to move home.
Mrs R is lives by herself in a back-to-back property in Beeston, Leeds. Although only 64, she is beginning to find the very steep stairs in her home difficult to manage, and feels that she has reached a time in life when the deaths of friends and neighbours are causing her to consider her future. She is also having problems with some of her neighbours so has decided it is time to think about downsizing. She feels the area is deteriorating and she sometimes feel lonely.
Mrs R has begun investigating sheltered housing provision. However she said “if I could lift my house and move it, I would”. She was concerned about timing issues about selling her property and moving into sheltered housing.
Mrs R was given details about the Silverlinks project by her local Citizens Advice Bureau and also heard about the project through the one of the Neighbourhood Network schemes, so she contacted us and was matched with one of our volunteers, Mrs M.
When they met, they both discovered they had a lot in common which meant that the conversation flowed easily. Mrs R said she found Mrs M “easy to talk to”.
Mrs M shared her own experiences of downsizing and moving, and also talked about her deterioration in health which caused her to think about her living circumstances. They talked about the area Mrs R might want to move to, and spoke about issues such as living in a hilly area if mobility is a problem; and thinking about transport provision. Mrs M suggested that Mrs R looked at as many homes as possible before making a final decision.
After their initial chat, Mrs R was offered a place in sheltered housing in Otley which is over 15 miles from where she currently lives. Mrs R viewed the property but her conversation with Mrs M made her give serious consideration to location and she decided that Otley was too far away and too remote.
Mrs R decided that it would make sense not to move too far from where she lives now and identified a few areas to look for sheltered housing. She thought that Morley seemed the best option because everything is within easy reach and she would not need to use her car.
She decided to register with Anchor housing for 4 properties. She was told there was a long waiting list for 1 bedroomed flats but if she took a studio flat, it may be possible to make an internal transfer at a later date. Mrs R also registered with York Housing Association for a flat in Rothwell.
Her current property was put on the market and she has had a couple of offers. They have not been for the asking price so she has not accepted them.
Mrs R has since been offered a place at the complex in Rothwell. She says it is a very convenient location, close to shops and transport and has lovely views across local fields so she has accepted the place. She has signed the paperwork but will not move in immediately as she has a few things to sort out.
She has begun the process of downsizing and is constantly taking bags of items to her local
charity shops, and has measured up her new flat for a new carpet and to see what furniture she can take, although she has said that fitting her fridge freezer into the smaller kitchen might be difficult. She has sent us these photos of her new flat and the lovely view from the kitchen!
Mrs R appreciated the support offered by Mrs M. She thought talking to an older volunteer meant they had a better understanding of her situation and they could share experiences.
Mrs R has told friends and neighbours about Silverlinks, and has also expressed an interest in becoming a volunteer once she is settled in her new home. After all, she now has a wealth of experience to share with others.
Although Mrs R was capable of sorting out her housing needs, she is aware that Care & Repair were there to offer help if needed.