I can tell you from my personal experience about
the difference that help with housing problems can make to the
lives of people like me.
I came to England from Jamaica in 1963 and trained
to become a cook with the London Bus Company. I am 71 now and
I have lived in my small townhouse in Hackney for over 30 years.
My Kitchen and toilet are the only rooms on the ground floor.
After a stroke this year I could only go home
from hospital because my bed was brought down to the Kitchen.
The carpet on the floor was old and frayed and I kept falling.
I couldn't go upstairs to my living room bathroom and bedroom
except by crawling there and then I fell. I had a bath once a
week when my daughter took me to her home in Dagenham.
I was so upset that I might have to leave the
home I loved so much.
All that worry has gone now with the help of
Peter, the caseworker from the Hospital Discharge Project. He
got me a grant for a new carpet downstairs and handrails and then
arranged with social services for a stair lift and walk-in shower
to be fitted.
Now I can wash whenever I want and sleep in
my own bedroom.
Peter also discovered that I wasn't getting
my rightful benefits and when I claimed them my weekly income
went up by £78 per week and I no longer have to pay council
tax. You cannot imagine the difference that has made to me. I
was then put in touch with Sharp End Centre* where I go for exercise
and some company.
My home is so important to me and I want to
stay here for as long as I can. I feel so comfortable that I have
someone like Peter and my home care worker alongside me.
I hope that other people like me wherever they
live also will be able to get this help because I know how much
has it has meant to my life.
by Mrs Evelyn Wood, about her experience of
Hackney Staying Put Hospital Discharge Service
*Sharp End was one of the first Healthy Living
Centres and provides exercise, alternative therapies and counselling
for older people.