Peggy fights loneliness

A young pregnant carer sits drinking a cup of tea with her elderly home care pacient
A young pregnant carer sits drinking a cup of tea with her elderly home care pacient

A pensioner from Selston is benefitting from a new council scheme which has been launched to help combat loneliness in the elderly.

The £1.2m Nottinghamshire County Council service, called ‘Connect’ was launched earlier this year and is targeting people who live independently but face increasing need due to age, mobility problems, disability, long-term health conditions or bereavement.

Peggy Young, 84 from Selston, lives alone and has mobility problems along with breathing difficulties and a form of neuralgia that gives her periods of intense pain.

She is cared for by her son Paul, 58, who lives nearby but was struggling to give her the full support she needed with his full-time job as a movement therapist.

Paul said: “The service has been absolutely wonderful and I can’t praise Vicky, our Connect support worker, enough – she has been like a friend.

“Mum is visited by a home care worker during the day to make sure she is alright and to give her the personal care she needs. She gets very anxious when she is alone so this helps a lot.

“Vicky also helped us to get the benefits she was entitled to, which means she has been able to employ a cleaner to keep the house tidy.

“Mum has come on leaps and bounds and she is a lot more positive in her outlook and we recently took her for a day out for the first time in a year, which she would not have done before this support.”

The ‘Connect’ workers encourage people at risk to manage their health, find solutions that help them to retain their independence and reduce loneliness and social isolation.

It is estimated up to 20,000 older people in Nottinghamshire are affected by loneliness.

The Connect service has just put Peggy forward for a befriending service which will put her in touch with someone to visit her for company.

Coun Muriel Weisz, chair of the council’s adult social care and health committee, said: “People like Peggy are why we set up this service as we are keen to reduce loneliness and ensure residents with ongoing health difficulties retain their independence.

If you are aware of someone like Peggy in your community call 0115 939 5406.