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Covid-19 update - The Wellbeing home visiting service is temporarily suspended but we are still continuing our Telephone Befriending calls.

Our Wellbeing programme and Telephone Befriending service work within the Information and Advice service and if someone has been identified as requiring further help, these services may be able to help.

What do we mean by wellbeing?

Every aspect of someone’s life can influence their state of wellbeing.  Factors that enhance a sense of wellbeing can include the tangible and the less tangible.

  • Tangible factors affecting wellbeing

    • Having enough money
    • Getting regular exercise
    • Eating a balanced diet
    • Getting sufficient sleep
    • Having a safe place to live

  • Less tangible factors affecting wellbeing

    • Having close relationships or friends
    • A sense of belonging 
    • Being able to adapt to change
    • Having a sense of purpose

An adverse change in one or more of these factors can cause low mood, anxiety or depression and they can often be indicators of underlying feelings of loneliness and isolation.  However, without addressing their issues, the older person may not be able to engage in social activity to reduce their loneliness and isolation.  

Our Information & Advice service can help with many of the tangible factors affecting a person's wellbeing through: 

  • advising on how to maximise income
  • exploring housing options
  • finding help at home
  • discussing care needs
  • providing information about social activity groups 
  • or anything and everything in between. 

Often, addressing these factors immediately improves their sense of wellbeing and nothing more is required.  Or, the older person then finds themself able to participate in some form of social activity.  

However, to address the less tangible factors the older person may require some support if they lack the confidence to deal with them alone.  In this case, we may be able to provide additional support to help them take the first steps.  

What additional support is available through the Wellbeing Programme?

We can offer short-term volunteer support depending on what the older person wants to achieve but unfortunately we cannot offer a visiting befriending service.  The short-term support could be anything from practical tasks like finding and appointing a gardener/cleaner, putting correspondence in order to accompanying them on a bus to attend a social activity. Sometimes one visit is all that is needed.  Anything will be considered if the task will improve their wellbeing.  

About the Telephone befriending service

We can also offer telephone befriending to people aged 65+ for an indefinite period.  We offer a free weekly telephone call, generally from the same volunteer, with the aim of providing social contact and signposting to other forms of support. 

Telephone befriending is available to people living in Swindon and Wiltshire

How does someone access additional support?

Additional support is only available through our Information & Advice service.  One of our advisors will have a holistic conversation to explore the issues concerning the older person and help to resolve them. 

If it is identified that additional support would benefit the older person, then we will visit them at home for a further conversation to identify what further help they are looking for.  Should it be agreed that volunteer support would be beneficial and we have volunteer availability, a simple plan of action will be agreed and a community volunteer allocated who will then help them accomplish the agreed task.  

Eligibility criteria

Volunteer support may be available to people who are: 

  • Over the age of 65
  • Willing and able to participate
  • Physically able to get in and out of community transport, a taxi or a bus if their request is to attend a social activity outside of the home
  • Interested and able to identify an activity that would improve their sense of wellbeing.  
  • Living in Wiltshire (for the Wellbeing Programme, unfortunately this service is not available in Swindon)

 

Whether it is support from one of our visiting volunteers or a weekly telephone call from a telephone befriender, our aim is to rebuild connections, improve wellbeing and help address those feelings of loneliness and isolation so that people remain engaged and motivated to enjoy their later years. 

How to access the service

Speak to our Information & Advice team in the first instance on 0808 196 2424 or enquiries@ageukwiltshire.org.uk

What if I'm not eligible or want a befriending service?

Local Clubs, Services and Groups search page

Please see our page Local Clubs, Services and Groups search page for details of other services, including those covering Swindon, and a list of lunch clubs and social group suggestions around the county.

 

Crisis and mental health telephone support services

  • The charity SANE have a telephone advice line: 07984 967 708 for people experiencing mental health difficulties and low mood.

 

  • The charity The Calm Zone have a telephone helpline 0800 58 58 58 (5pm to midnight) for anyone feeling low in mood and wanting someone to talk to.

 

  • The Avon and Wiltshire partnership mental health team have a 24hr support line during COVID19 which can be contacted on 0300 303 1320.

 

  • The charity Cruse offer free bereavement support and counselling through appointments in Bath and may be able to make appointments over the telephone. Tel: 0808 808 1677

 

  • The Samaritans offer a non-judgemental listening line: Tel: 116 123

 

Please help us be there for older people in need

By donating today, you could help us answer more calls to our advice line, provide volunteer support for older people struggling to manage on their own and provide regular friendship calls to people who are desperately lonely.