Our Elders team continues to run a successful Age Well programme for local older people in Battersea. Here’s a short update about the teams work.
Many of the elders report as feeling low mentally or have clinical mental health issues including psychosis. The majority of referrals via Social Prescribers were due to this. Social anxiety and low mood are prevalent issues.
Our Age Well worker has ensured that KLS now monitor on their database who has had falls to increase awareness raising. The worker and the manager also supported the PNA research and identified need reported in it. Guidance for Walks Policy, Exercise Policy and Volunteer Role Descriptions were developed.
KLS sees the Age Well support given over Zoom as not replacing in-person work, but linear and equal to/of real value during lockdown, and post lockdown. Different types of members such as carers, mental health and the housebound have accessed these sessions that would otherwise have not engaged.
Since 1 January-31 July 2021 we have provided:
The service developed a collaborative art project in February to produce a piece of art work ‘what well-being means to elders’ which aims to produce a piece of art work to display working with a KLS volunteer.
Age well Members are also supported to attend other zoom groups: including in the evening and at the weekend, and supported to zoom with family. Members were taught to take and send photos by WhatsApp. Some became confident to use zoom for their medical appointments. The individual home exercise programme included a month-long step counting accountability programme, to increase individual exercise outputs set by clients for wellbeing.
The service continues to develop its partnership work including
“People have been telling me how good the park picnic/boules has been. Sounds great.” Feedback from a Wandsworth Social Prescriber
Ms. K, aged 63, is physically active. She was referred from Wandsworth Social Prescribers. It took 4 calls to start the engagement process. She has had two mental breakdowns, is nervous of Covid and has social anxiety. She wants to attend the Zoom groups but lacks confidence. Ms K was asked by our team to pick up a home crafting pack which she has agreed to do, as a start to build her self-confidence. She is being referred to our Tech Up project for help with her IT.
Miss P, aged 75, is a carer for her daughter who has a life limiting condition and is also a falls risk herself due to health conditions. “It’s a privilege to have access to such wonderful Zoom events and to meet such extraordinary people. I love hearing about their lives. I didn’t think I would enjoy storytelling – and I do and I didn’t not think I would enjoy Zoom but I really do. We have all come so far. I really hope they continue for people like me they really enrich my life. Thank you.”
Mrs. M, aged 71, second language is English. She lives with husband and cares for her grandson. She was referred by Wandsworth Social Prescribers due to her mental health. She was given a laptop by KLS. She needs lots of prompting to attend. She has health issues that limit her mobility and put on weight during Lockdown.
To support Mrs M, a Tech Up Digital Champion did several doorstep visits to learn how to turn it on and use it. She needed a lot of 1-2-1 support, her family were not supportive. She loves creating stories about Camels during story telling. She now attends everything regularly and never misses a session – but does need prompting. She had never drawn before but now really enjoys the art session. Now everyone cheers when she arrives and she has her own catch phrases people use with her “Enjoy the journey” is one of them as its often used to encourage the group and she uses a lot herself now. Our worker sets members challenges and Mrs M’s challenge is to try and come to the next picnic session in a local park with her son. Our Tech Up project will help her to learn how to use her camera.
Mrs L is also receiving telephone befriending from KLS and said: “The calls and Zoom are my lifeline. This has changed my life! Thank you for telling me to live in the minute while I’m in it! And stop waiting for hospital appointments. I’m no longer waiting and stressed. I’m living! I’ve been sunbathing, gardening and I am no longer depressed! (My son) says he has a new mum!”.