©InfoWhen 87-year-old Beryl Morris had a fall while walking home from a local shop she was left in hospital for more than a month. But thanks the help of volunteer Angela Morecroft and the Red Cross care in the home service, she was soon back on her feet and out of the house.
After so many weeks away from her Bedfordshire home, settling back into her normal routine was a challenge. Living with her husband who also had limited mobility and with no close relatives available to provide support, she relied on her physiotherapists to help her regain her strength.
The physios worked hard to get Beryl walking again but her confidence was shot. She was anxious about doing activities she had previously enjoyed. Beryl said: “Before the fall I was very active. I used to go out every morning. But after being in hospital I was really nervous about going out again.”
It was at this point care in the home volunteer Angela stepped in. For the next four weeks, she provided support to Beryl and encouraged her to get back to her normal routine. She visited the pensioner at home at least twice a week to help increase her confidence.
Angela gave Beryl small exercises to build her self-esteem. At first she just encouraged Beryl to walk from her wheelchair to the door every day. Once she seemed more assured, Angela’s next step was to get her outside to the garden. Angela said: “We walked around with her holding my arm on one side and the garden fence on the other.”
As the weeks went by Beryl achieved a major goal – to walk along the main road without being terrified of the traffic. Angela recalled: “We went out for an hour during one of the visits. We were chatting away and hadn’t realised how far we’d gone when we arrived at the main road.”
'Out and about by myself'
Regaining her mobility – and confidence – has been invaluable to Beryl. She said: “Without the Red Cross I don’t know what I would have done. I’m not frightened to admit it. I don’t like sitting in the house 24/7. Even if I’m just going out in the garden or down the shops, it’s better.”
Angela, a volunteer for 17 years, said: “For me, it’s the simple things like bringing by a loaf of bread or a pint of milk, or stepping out into the garden, that can make a real difference to someone’s day.”
With her newfound confidence, Beryl is now not only mobile but is able to go out unaccompanied. She explained: “I had a lot of confidence at the end of the four weeks. When Angela finished her visits, I continued going out and about by myself.”
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