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Shelley's story

26 June 2015

For many years, Shelley had endured severe depression and anxiety. She relied on her husband who managed their finances, cooked their meals and did all the housekeeping. She never left the house without him. But after he died last year, Shelley struggled to cope. She had no family or friends.

Having received support from Age UK Sheffield during her husband’s illness, she got back in touch to see if we could help. Since her husband’s death, her lifestyle and personal health had severely declined. She hadn’t opened any post or paid the mortgage or funeral costs. She didn’t have any bank accounts in her name so couldn’t access any money. She didn’t know how to cook and had lost five stone. Her anxiety meant she couldn’t go out of her house, not even to throw rubbish away. She had also begun self-harming.

Age UK Sheffield’s Independent Living Coordinator first established a relationship with Shelley and got to understand the difficulties she was facing. Then, together, they set about getting Shelley back on her feet and living life to the full.  

Within three months Shelley had set up a bank account, paid her debts, worked out a budget and got access to all the benefits she was entitled to.

She was able to get new clothes that fitted her better, learned skills to manage her anxiety, and began to look after herself by shopping for food and cooking meals for the first time in years.

Shelley worked out a daily routine that gave her some structure and, after some encouragement, joined a walking group that she continues to enjoy.