Bill: Family were worried

Bill: Family were worried

Bill had a fall and his family were worried about him.

Bill is in his late 70s and has lived alone since his wife died. His family have all moved away and they keep in touch by phone. Bill felt he was getting on fine, but then had a fall at home and hurt his knee. He couldn’t get up and lay on the floor until next day, when he managed to attract a neighbour’s attention. He wasn’t too worried about the fall as he knew it was because he was doing something daft (standing on a side table to put something on top of the wardrobe, instead of going downstairs and getting the step ladder). But everyone else ‘got a bit freaked out’.

Bill was taken to hospital for treatment for his knee. Before he left he was told about a care service, but at that point there was not much discussion about what support he wanted. After a week or so Bill called the number for the social worker and said he didn’t like someone coming to the house each day. He thought they would stop the service, but instead someone came out to talk about what support he would like. 
  • To be as independent as possible.
  • To not have people worrying about him.
  • More company and more things to get him out of the house. 

The social worker arranged for a personal alarm for Bill.

Bill and his sister agreed that they would talk to each other every evening, with a plan to follow if the other person didn’t answer.

Bill started using his bus pass more and joined a club based at a bowling green, where they have indoor activities during the poorer weather. He talked over going to a day centre (which was what his family asked about) with the social worker but they both felt that this was not right for him as he didn’t need that level of care.

Bill is ‘on the books’ of a home care service. Bill and the social worker worked out that he didn’t really need regular home care, but it might be handy to have someone to call on if he did need help with something round the house or if he got unwell.

The level of Bill’s work pension means that he would have to pay for a service organised by the Council. Bill decided he would prefer to just  organise as well as pay for the support himself.

The social worker gave Bill the phone number of a local advice service which helps people organise the care services that are right for them. They listened to what Bill wanted and suggested some services that could provide what he needed.

  • Remember that there is a balance between what you think you can do and what you want, and what will reassure other people.
  • Having friends and things to keep you busy are important. Bill had let this slip away as people died and moved away. You have to make an effort to keep this going, but it is worth it.
  • Bill thought that if you got involved with social work you wouldn’t have any say on what happened to you. But he was wrong. They listened and gave lots of practical and helpful advice. 


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