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“I don’t know what we would have done without him.”

Frank and Vivienne’s lives changed in 2019 after Vivienne suffered a heart attack. Soon after, Frank became Vivienne’s main carer due to her requiring 24-hour care. Vivienne used to be very active and involved around the house, but now Frank was struggling to both support Vivienne’s needs, look after their house and as a result had a couple of falls.

“It was completely foreign to me, and I found myself in this state where I had to start living a totally different life.”

Frank didn’t know who to turn to and so rang his GP daily who weren’t able to support but referred him on to Age UK Lancashire’s Integrated Care Programme so they could support his additional needs. Frank was referred to Shahid, Age UK Lancashire’s Personal Independence Co-Ordinator who arranged to meet with Frank.

Shahid is based at Colne Health Centre and works with the integrated team there so that we’re on hand to support patients.

Shahid said:

“One morning, a manager came to me and said there is a patient that rings every day to ask for help. We didn’t know what kind of help he needed because medically he was OK, but I thought that he might be struggling financially or maybe socially.”

Shahid visited Frank and Vivienne at their house to carry out an assessment of their needs, Shahid added:

“Frank is in his mid-80s, his sons live away and is the main carer for his wife. His wife sadly is very ill and he does everything in the house.”

“He needed a lot of help and financially he was struggling.”

“So, this was why he was ringing the local GP every day to find support for his wife and himself.”

Shahid continued:

“We set goals, if there was a carers breakdown then we would look to get carers to support. If he was struggling with the housework then we could bring in Home Help (an Age UK Lancashire service) or if they had difficulty with mobility and parking then we look at getting a Blue Badge.”

Shahid supported both Frank and Vivienne with completing the correct paperwork for additional benefits such as attendance allowance and the application for their Blue Badge. Frank was delighted that both applications were successful.

Frank said:

“She’s now got a Blue Badge and it’s a real godsend to her.”

Frank and Vivienne have used the additional income from the attendance allowance to buy Vivienne a walker so they can confidently walk to places and have got a carer and gardener that now visits them weekly.

Shahid added:

“I’ve seen a massive difference in Frank’s life, he now has a carer coming in and a gardener, all because he has an Attendance Allowance in place and one of the main thing is the confidence they both have now to leave their house and live independently.”

Frank was very thankful of Age UK Lancashire and Shahid for their support and said:

“Really we would have been lost had it not been for Shahid, we wouldn’t have got anywhere near where we are now.”

Our Integrated Care Programme and Personal Independence Co-Ordinator’s offer support in sourcing a range of services to people over the age of 50 with long-term health conditions in East Lancashire.

The Personal Independence Co-Ordinator’s work with other services to create a plan that suits the client's lifestyle and enables them to enhance their health and wellbeing and regain their independence like Frank and Vivienne.

In 2022/23 our Integrated Care Programme enabled 970 older people to manage their long-term illness and live independently. For more information about the service visit our Integrated Care Programme page or call 0300 303 1234.