Anne, who is in her 70s, was 3 years overdue to have a care review. She had heart failure and mental health conditions and was given personal care support once a week.
After a delay in getting support after a heart operation and many inconveniences from Adult Social Care, she reached out to us to see if we could help her. She was underweight, tired, and struggling to do housework and personal care.
n-compass’ advocacy team got in contact with Anne after she referred herself to the service and we’ve made a big impact to her quality of life.
Sally, an advocate from n-compass, got in touch with Anne, explaining that she was from an independent organisation and was there to help. She explained that her discussion was confidential and that she had a duty of care.
Anne told Sally of the troubles she’d been having. For example, she said that, although she was grateful for her weekly carer coming in to help wash her hair, they were often late and, if she had a hospital appointment during the time they finally arrived, they wouldn’t rearrange. She’d have to go weeks without washing her hair.
She said she’d like a new care plan with assistance to wash her hair twice per week and some help with getting her food shopping, as she really struggled with this due to her limited mobility. The advocate asked if she felt confident to raise these suggestions herself and the other problems she had mentioned previously within the care review, and she said she did feel confident but would appreciate advocacy support.
Sally and Anne arranged to meet at Anne’s house half an hour before her review with her social worker. When Sally arrived, she noticed that Anne was very thin and unkempt and her house was extremely cluttered - it seemed she hadn’t been able to keep up with her housework.
Anne apologised and appeared embarrassed about her home when she invited Sally in. They went over the points Anne wanted to raise and, when the social worker arrived, she was able to discuss her care needs and challenges she had experienced with only occasional prompts and encouragement from Sally.
The care Anne used was swapped for another and an additional day was added per week to help wash her hair and another day was added to help her with her shopping and housework.
The social worker was also concerned about Anne’s weight, so he referred her to a dietician. Support was also suggested for someone to help Anne cook because she often skipped meals when she felt tired. A further referral was made for her to have her prescriptions delivered to her home.
Throughout the review, Anne commented on how she had little trust in health professionals and adult social care but mentioned a GP who she trusted who had helped her in the past. Sally asked if she would like her GP to be involved in her care plan and she agreed.
Anne expressed how grateful she was for the support from advocacy in helping her to trust health and social care professionals again and to helping her have her voice heard. She said she felt as if she had given up on life previously and let everything get on top of her but expressed feeling positive about the future and her new care package.
Sally and Anne will remain in contact until the care package has been put into place to ensure they are appropriate and practically there are no issues.
Find out more about our advocacy services here.