Until recently, Ruth had enjoyed an active life including parachute jumping and horse riding.
Then Ruth lost her husband and was living alone. She fell in her garden and was stuck there for ten hours. After that, she had a six week package of care, was in frequent contact with her GP and was very low in mood. As well as that, a chronic digestive problem had caused Ruth to lose a lot of weight. She needed to be close to the bathroom, which left her with low confidence and she was anxious about leaving her house.
Ruth also has hypertension, osteoporosis, Meniere’s disease, depression and memory loss.
How we helped
Ruth’s priority was to feel confident enough to get out of the house. We arranged for a volunteer to work with her to build her confidence, starting with talking with her over a cup of tea at home, to going out once a fortnight to a nearby café.
We worked with the GP to arrange nutritious meals and drinks that Ruth would like and wouldn’t cause her further stomach problems. We also arranged a medication review.
We referred Ruth for a functional assessment from the Age UK Postural Stability Instructor with a view to attending a balance and stability class.
Within a few weeks, Ruth had additional support and was starting to engage with social activities.
With the help of a volunteer, Ruth planned and undertook a trip to see her sister, who had been taken poorly. She was interviewed and filmed for a Radio Cornwall feature.
Ruth regularly attends a walking group with another lady from the Pathfinder, accompanied by a volunteer. She has also joined a coffee morning group.
Ruth’s confidence has improved, she has gained weight and she is able to socialise and has shared her experience of grief with other people. Ruth’s initial wellbeing score was 17/35 and is now 32/35.
Ruth says she is delighted at having things to look forward to and be part of.