Keeping Inspirational George on his feet (and his toes)

During a follow up consultation after a fall last year, George’s GP recommended he came to Care Network Hub and find out about what was available from services in the community. At 92 years old, George has lived a full and interesting life with many tales to tell. He served in The Royal Navy from 1944 – 47, was a traffic controller for British Rail, retiring in 1982 and a magistrate for 27 years. In 2006 George moved from Preston to Blackburn with his wife. Tragically, four years after moving to live closer to family, his wife was diagnosed with cancer and lost her battle in 2010. At the same time George was diagnosed with bowel cancer. George had surgery and made a full recovery and continues to build his life in the borough. Following his first visit to Care Network Hub, helpdesk staff believed the most crucial service to meet George’s needs was one to keep him on his feet and referred him to;

  • Falls prevention Team*: Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council’s Refresh Team: George had a full Falls Prevention Assessment including advice on strength and balance, nutrition, hydration and footwear. This one referral led George to benefit from a number of other services, groups and opportunities including; Strength and Balance Class (a sixteen week course), Health Walks (a weekly group walk close to home), Occupational Therapy Assessment (to make moving around at home easier and safer).

On a second visit to Care Network Hub it was clear George wasn’t as happy as he could be. George has many skills and is keen to give back to his community and make a difference. Care Network Hub staff talked with George about what he could get more involved with, including;

  • Volunteering for The Men’s Club: George now has a lead role in the volunteer led Men’s Peer Support Group.
  • Dementia Friendly Cinema Screenings: George doesn’t have dementia however while attending The Men’s Club he’s benefitted from finding out about other offers in the community, including the screening of old films on the big screen at Thwaites Theatre.
  • Becoming an Ambassador of Care Network: George is already a great advocate of Care Network and is keen to support the charity in as many ways as he can. We’re currently exploring ways for George to get more involved in supporting the work of our charity.

Health and Wellbeing: George is determined to live an independent and active life. He understands the importance of keeping fit and continuing to do as much for himself as possible. Following the advice, guidance and services he has accessed he can get in and out of a chair easier, has improved balance and lower limb strength and his fear of falling has reduced. His emotional wellbeing has improved as he is benefitting from greater feelings of purpose by contributing to his community in a meaningful way and is looking forward to new opportunities with Care Network too. These improvements are having a big impact on his overall health and independence.

I think this is a wonderful service, everyone has been so helpful. I’m different to what I was six months ago. My memory seems to have improved, I’m decent on my feet, my confidence has improved and I seem to be more fluent. You’re a useful service without a doubt, I need to rely on people like you to let me know what’s available. It’s also making me use my brain a bit more. I want to do things to make a contribution. I was feeling a bit frustrated. I was beginning to feel like I was existing rather than living. I wanted a purpose. I have improved coming here.

*The Falls Prevention Team has now started a weekly drop in, every Monday 12 - 1pm, The Men’s Club meet every Tuesday 2.30 - 4pm at Care Network Hub and always welcome new members. Visit Care Network Hub for information around dementia friendly communities and services (including the cinema screenings).

Aims and Objectives of Service: Staying independent, self-directed support and peer support, positive mental health, improved physical health, what's on in our community, health and social care advice.