©InfoWhen outgoing widow Joyce Streatfield was laid low by illness, she struggled at home – but our care in the home volunteer soon had her smiling again.
Joyce Streatfield is a vivacious, energetic 76-year-old – a born entertainer and keen volunteer who loves helping others in her local community.
So when she was admitted to hospital with pneumonia and a collapsed lung, Joyce became very concerned about how she would manage once she got home. Her husband had sadly died a few years earlier and she’d been living alone ever since.
‘Volunteer was great’
Back at home, Joyce felt weak and tired – an unfamiliar condition for her – and found it increasingly difficult to keep up her usual routine. So she decided to call the Red Cross.
The pensioner recalled: “I knew about the care in the home service because they were a great help when my husband was dying. I’d found it really hard to cope with his illness but the volunteer who came to visit was great – she couldn’t do enough for us and made such a big difference.”
Support for elderly
Sure enough, volunteer Irene Rix was soon knocking on her door. Joyce said: “Irene came to see how I was, then visited me for four weeks. She was so helpful – she took me shopping and to the bank, and gave me lots of support when I was at a low ebb.”
Joyce reflected: “The only word I can use to describe the care in the home service is ‘wonderful’. Without people like Irene, where would the elderly be when they can’t manage? It was so reassuring to know that she was only a phone call away.
“Now I’m back to my old self – going to ballroom dancing, hosting tea dance fundraisers and visiting friends at the nearby retirement home.”
Looking back, Joyce can see what a huge difference Irene’s visits made: “I was really weak and worried about how I would manage, but Irene was a brick – someone I could chat to. And when you’re a widow on your own, company is just as important as help with the practical stuff. She was wonderful.”
Irene, a former nurse, has been volunteering for two years. She said: It really has been very good for me. I find it so fulfilling, and it’s very interesting to meet so many interesting people and help them with different things.”
Become a care in the home volunteer