Our client is 80 years old, and lives in South Bedfordshire with his wife. He suffers with eyesight issues and she has asthma, diabetes, arthritis, a spine injury, poor mobility, cataracts and is hard of hearing. They live in a mobile home.
Our client is 80 years old, and lives in South Bedfordshire a Case Study with his wife. He suffers with eyesight issues and she has asthma, diabetes, arthritis, a spine injury, poor mobility, cataracts and is hard of hearing. They live in a mobile home.
The client contacted us because his boiler had broken down and he could not afford to repair it. He had no hot water or heating and a neighbour had loaned them a heater (our first referral was in January 2015, in the height of winter). Our client and his wife had not been able to shower for over 8 weeks and were sleeping in their front room near the heater for warmth. Unfortunately the council were unable to help with the boiler grant.
A secondary issue for the client was they had struggled to keep their home clutter free and now needed assistance to clear an accumulation of paperwork and other items.
We completed a benefits’ check and contacted the Local Authority and ‘Turn to Us’ for help with a boiler and heating grant. Our worker contacted Social Services who recommended Home Improvement Assistance and Affordable Warmth Assistance. We also contacted ‘Friends of the Elderly’ and completed an application and liaised with our client, his niece and the organisations.
Our worker contacted the RAF Benevolent fund because our client had been in the Forces. The worker helped to complete charity grant application forms on his behalf. The worker applied to various other trusts and foundations for help. This includes Aid for the Aged in Distress, The Coffey Trust, Newby Trust, and Elizabeth Finn Care.
Due to the couple’s health, we were able to contact Occupational Health and the Rehabilitation Team to make a referral for support for them both.
For help to have the home de-cluttered our worker obtained a quotation and contacted the local Age UK shop who have use of a van to collect items. She also liaised with the client and his wife to see if their niece could help.
The RAF Benevolent fund awarded our client £2500 and the local community raised a further £1000 towards the new boiler. The client has had a new system installed and their living environment is now warm with plenty of hot water again.
Below is part of the thank you letter that the client sent to us:
Dear Age UK Bedfordshire, In the middle of January on a cold and snowy winter night, our boiler burst leaving us without any form of heating and no hot water. My wife is 72 and disabled and I am 80 years of age.
We got in touch with the council to see if we could get any help. They came here and inspected our boiler and said we needed a new one. We were told we did not qualify for a grant due to the fact that we were not on housing benefit. We decided to ask for help elsewhere and were put in touch with Age UK Bedfordshire.
We had a phone call in February 2015 and the lady who spoke to us was to become our case worker. She asked if she could come here and see us, which she did. She asked questions about who we had approached and what help we had been given. We had been turned down by everyone except an offer of £200, when a boiler costs £3,557.46!
Our case worker asked the usual questions about us and our income/expenditure and then asked if I was ever in the services. I said that I was in the RAF. She said thank you and she would go back to her office to see what help she could sort out. She did explain to us that she is a student and did we mind that she was a student/trainee. We said no we had no objection whatsoever.
Five days later I had a phone call from a RAFA Welfare Officer. He came to see us and after we had explained everything to him he told us he had had a phone call from our case worker of Age UK Bedfordshire. He then said he would go back to his committee to see what could be done. About three weeks later we had a letter granting us £2,500, towards the boiler. Since then we have managed to find the rest of the money following a cheque received from relations and other kind hearted people. Our case worker had been trying to arrange grants for the remainder for us, but in the end we did not need help to raise the balance.
Since the boiler burst we have had no heating except a very small electric heater and later a portable gas fire loaned to us by a kind neighbour. We also had no hot water so were unable to shower. We have had to boil water on the stove and wash in the kitchen to keep warm.
We would like to thank our case worker for all the help she has given to us, if she had not told us she was a student we would have never have guessed it; she was very professional, polite, friendly, helpful and nothing was too much trouble for her. We could not have asked for a better lady. We would also like to thank Age UK for all their help in getting us a boiler. This is now on order and we hope to have it by the end of May 2015. We wish our case worker all the very best for the future.
Thank you once again.