Local resident Norma Jenkins feared she'd lose her independence and have to move into sheltered housing after having two hip replacements and also falling in the garden.
For Norma, last summer's fall in her garden shattered her confidence and left her feeling anxious and vulnerable. Even though Norma has spinal stenosis she had led a very independent life up until now.
Fortunately for Norma, she was able to take part in a trial initiative from Curo aimed at providing support to help residents live in their own homes.
Shortly after starting the trial Norma fell again breaking her arm, collar bone and damaging her cheek bone. For Norma taking part in this initiative meant she was able to stay at home and recover rather than move into sheltered housing. Norma received a dedicated assistant, Amanda Barrett, who liaised with home help agencies to provide a comprehensive package of support to get her back on her feet again.
Acting on Norma's behalf, Amanda, Curo's Independent Living Service Officer, secured special aids from NHS B&NES occupational therapy so she could sleep at night and move around more freely during the day while her arm was in a neck sling. Amanda arranged for hospital transport, physiotherapy sessions and grab rails for outside Norma's home to be installed. Even the front and back steps to Norma's house were made more accessible and safer for her.
And when Norma was at her lowest, when she was in pain from her fall and her mobility was poor, the Independent Living Service liaised with NHS B&NES's Intermediate Care Team to arrange a night-sitter for a short time. Norma said that having night assistance meant she was able to get to bed and sleep.
"The Independent Living Service is the best thing that has ever happened to me," says Norma. "Until I found out about the service, I was seriously considering having to move home to a sheltered housing scheme. I don't know what I would have done without this support. To know that someone like Amanda is on hand whenever you need them - that takes all the worry away."