At the grand age of 91, retired primary school teacher Ann Caldwell still lives independently in her own home, an apartment in Bath that she bought with her husband when she retired in 1988. When her husband passed away ten years later her step-daughter suggested it would be helpful to get some help so she could manage better on her own.
At that point, Mrs Caldwell didn’t need what’s referred to as ‘personal care’, just a little extra support with day-to-day things and a friendly face to chat to from time to time.
Together, the family looked around for something suitable and saw an advert in a newspaper for Curo’s Independent Living Service. Mrs Caldwell became one of the service’s first customers.
The support offered by Curo has enabled Mrs Caldwell to stay in the home she owns and loves, instead of having to move into a care home. She gets weekly visits from Independent Living Officer Ayesha Chawdhry.
“Ayesha is always happy to help in any way she can and is someone I can speak to safely,” says Mrs Caldwell. “She knows what help is available for me if I ever need it.”
Being a flexible service that’s based on a menu of choices, Curo has been able to adapt the support offered as Mrs Caldwell’s needs have changed over the years. Recently Mrs Caldwell, who now uses a wheelchair, needed to access personal care and Curo was able to help her find the right care package.
The free personal alarm that comes with the Independent Living Service means that urgent help can be summoned at the push of a button 24-hours-a-day. On a number of occasions Mrs Caldwell has used her pendant alarm to call for help having fallen over in her home.
For Mrs Caldwell’s step-daughter Ann-Veronica, who lives in Box, the service provides real peace of mind: “Having someone like Ayesha around relieves a terrific burden on me. It gives me enormous consolation knowing she’s there.
“If we need support with anything, Ayesha can always help because she has the expertise and knowledge to point us in the direction of the right specialist. She’s a safe pair of hands and I can’t speak highly enough of her.”
Although Mrs Caldwell doesn’t get out as much as she used to, she still leads a busy life… as she says: “I still have my moments!”