Health and care partnerships in Croydon are helping older residents to regain their independence
Published on 20 February 2018 01:03 AM
A Croydon man is being helped back on his feet thanks to the local health and care partnership, after spending almost a year in hospital with a catalogue of health problems.
After becoming unwell, Thornton Heath resident Robert Scarlett was admitted to St Helier Hospital in Carshalton with breathing difficulties.
Confined to a hospital bed for almost a year, during which time his wife passed away, Robert was discharged from hospital to his home shortly before Christmas, alone for the first time in 45 years.
77-year-old Robert said: 'When I first returned home, I was fearful about what would happen to me as I was on my own for the first time in nearly 50 years. I relied on medication for a number of long-term health conditions and needed visits from carers three times a day.'
Unable to use his stairs without help, he became confined to the top floor of his home, with only an electric heater to keep him warm through the winter. Robert quickly lost weight and began suffering panic attacks, for which he needed regular medication.
But everything changed for Robert when Brigstock Road Medical Practice referred him to Age UK Croydon's personal independence co-ordinator Sylvarani.
'I've not been back in hospital since!'
Working with partners from across the health service, the council and the voluntary sector, Sylvarani arranged for heating to be installed in Robert's home, helped him apply for financial support and set him small, achievable targets to develop independence in his own home, such as walking up and down the stairs once a week.
Robert continued: 'Thanks to Sylvarani and the team of people supporting me, I can move around more and cook my own meals, which has helped me gain some weight. I'm even getting up and down the stairs a few times a day and have been working with my doctor, so I'm well enough to start driving again. And I've not been back in hospital since! I'm so much more confident now and it's all thanks to the support I received.'
Thanks to One Croydon - the partnership between local NHS services, GP practices, Croydon Council and Age UK in Croydon, 18 personal independence co-ordinators are helping to deliver co-ordinated support for older people living in the borough.