Here are a couple of stories from Silverlinks in the West of England about how Silverlinks volunteers have supported older people who are facing decisions about their housing.
Mrs W is a homeowner who lives alone in the home she has been in for many years. Mrs W is able to get out and about but was finding it difficult to get in and out of the bath. She has no shower and was concerned that eventually she may have difficulty managing other aspects of living in her large home. She was considering moving into a local sheltered housing scheme managed by a Housing Association, but was unsure about making this decision. She was also worried about some of the additional costs with moving to a rented property such as the service charge.
Mrs W wanted to talk through her decision so she contacted WE Care & Repair and it was arranged that she would meet with Silverlinks volunteer, Glyn. Glyn has been through a similar situation when he decided to downsize from his large house into a smaller flat within a sheltered accommodation scheme. Glyn was able to share the benefit of his experience with Mrs W, including talking through the potential charges and financial implications.
Following the discussion with Glyn, Mrs W decided that moving was the right thing for her. She was put in touch with WECR Housing Options service for support in moving and the caseworker, Judy, has taken Mrs W to view some potential properties and is currently helping her through the process of finding a new home.
Mr D is 66 years old and lives in a council housing flat. Mr D had suffered a stroke and needed some adaptations and aids fitted in his home in order to help him to move more safely around his home, however he was unable to have this installed due to the large amounts of clutter in his home.
He had already been advised to get rid of some of the clutter and to tidy as his cleaners were unable to clean.
Silverlinks volunteer David visited Mr D and they talked about the need to install the adaptations, otherwise Mr D would have to move into more suitable accommodation. Mr D was not keen on this idea, and the amount of upheaval this would cause and so decided that de-cluttering and having adaptations was the best option for him. David also volunteers for the Making Space project which helps older people who have issues with hoarding, so he was able to support Mr D over several weeks to help him de-clutter.
David also put Mr D in touch with the WECR Handyperson service, who came to his house and installed some shelving for him to create more storage for his possessions to help him keep his home clutter free. Mr D was able to have the relevant aids and adaptations fitted and is now able to live more comfortably and independently in his home.