Doreen is a 94 year old lady who lives alone. She is a fiercely independent person, and was very reluctant to ask for help, or ‘impose on people’ but her daughter persuaded her to ask about befriending and she hasn’t looked back.
Doreen is practically housebound - her eyesight and hearing issues mean she cannot go out by herself. She cannot read, do sewing as she used to, and watching television or listening to the radio is difficult. ‘My only daughter visits about once a week and helps as much as she can, but she’s busy and has her own life to lead.’ Unfortunately at the age of 94 many of her friends and relatives have died, and with her active mind, finds that she is bored.
Enter Georgina, a full time journalist who became Doreen’s befriender. ‘I was drawn to befriending because I’d always been close to my grandmother, who has now died, and wanted to reconnect with that generation,’ she says. ‘On top of this, The No one should have no one TV advert really moved me to the point of tears, and I hated the thought that someone would be alone and craving company, especially if they were pretty much housebound.’
Doreen and Georgina had a rapport as soon as they met. Georgina visits once a week for about an hour and they generally spend the time chatting and reminiscing.
‘I really enjoy our time together,’ says Georgina. ‘Doreen reminds me of my grandmother, with the same sense of humour and I’m fascinated by Doreen’s memories of her long life, and the changes she has seen.
Doreen also enjoys hearing about Georgina’s life and plans for future (she is getting married next year).
Georgina says she will always find time to visit Doreen and they both agree they’ve now moved from befriending to friends.