Tom & Barbara aged 75 and 72
Barbara and Tom have been happily married for 50 years after meeting at the cricket club that Tom played for. Tom served in the RAF and worked in the security industry after leaving the services. Barbara is a retired social worker and for many years has done voluntary work around her local community.
Barbara leads an active lifestyle, enjoys swimming and playing bowls to keep fit and socialise. She has a minor heart condition, which is controlled by medication.
Tom has lived with dementia for over 2 years and his memory and anxiety has worsened over time. He receives a care visit once a day but this leaves him feeling frustrated at his loss of independence.
When he gets confused, Tom has been known to wander outside of the home and ends up lost and anxious, not knowing how to get home. On one occasion, he walked for over a mile, crossing several busy main roads and ending up along a towpath of a nearby canal. Fortunately, somebody who knew Tom recognised him and got him home safely.
Barbara was glad that Tom was brought home safely, but she's worried it will happen again, and next time something really awful might happen to him.
When Barbara does go out and leaves Tom at home, she makes sure she locks all the doors behind her, but she doesn’t want Tom to end up feeling like a prisoner in his own home.
She also wants to remain active and social, and continue with the hobbies and activities she enjoys, without feeling guilty that Tom is stuck indoors and frustrated with his lack of independence.
Barbara made an initial enquiry about having a lifeline alarm fitted, but when we talked to her about her situation we were able to offer a much more dynamic and helpful solution.
How we helped Tom & Barbara?
WorcestershireTelecare looked at all aspects of their situation and matched it to a technology package that could provide them with the reassurance and independence they both needed.
The package has made a huge difference to their lives; Tom can now move around at home and enjoys getting into the garden. Occasionally, Tom wanders away from home but we are quickly alerted through his GPS location device and can contact Barbara straight away.
Naturally, Barbara still worries about Tom, but feels confident enough to be able to volunteer three mornings a week at her local youth project, swim each day and play bowls every Saturday, safe in the knowledge that she will be alerted if Tom has a problem.
Tom is much happier and doesn’t feel that his dementia is defining him and limiting Barbara from taking part in the activities that he knows she loves.