Befriending CaseStudy (Pre-Covid-19)
Mary (name changed to protect identity) is a 77 year old woman with mulitiple support needs: She has a physical disability – a spinal condition which affects her walking and she has been clinically diagnosed with OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). In Mary’s case she has a repetitive condition of washing her hands. She moved from a previous property to a hospital ward. She was entitled to a weekly basic state pension which is currently at £135.25 and Housing Benefit. However, her housing benefit ceased and so too did her State Pension.
The Local Authority moved her to a 20 room hostel from the hospital. Her hostel consisted of families, many with babies and under-fives. Unfortunately, Mary was the only elder in the property and this was clearly not ideal for her emotional and physical requirements. She lived on the ground floor as she was unable to access the stairs. On the ground floor, she shared the bathroom with 4 other families. Mary was unable to sleep at night because of the disturbance from children within the property and noisy revellers outside the property.
A volunteer visited Mary twice a week, to support with her well-being, assist with the delivery of food and household essentials and to liaise with DWP, the Housing Benefit Department and Adult Social Services. A local housing charity was also contacted to support her on other days.
After 3 months, Mary was rehoused in sheltered accommodation and her state pension and housing benefit was re-instated.