A retired vicar has paid tribute to the community responders who have quite literally become his lifeline after having a number of falls at home.
The East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s Lifeline service responded to over 1,200 calls from people who had fallen at home between January and July of this year.
Now John Waud, 85, who relies on the service to enable him to continue living in his own home despite limited mobility and being a frequent faller, has urged others in a similar situation to find out more about how Lifeline can help them.
John, who once served as a vicar in the Driffield area prior to retirement and now lives in the Beverley area, said: “Lifeline is brilliant. The community responders who come out to visit me are always cheerful, always looking on the bright side of life, are non-critical and at the end of the day they can help get me back on my feet which is vital.
“In the last year I have had a number of falls or tumbles, sometimes in my living room, in the kitchen and on one occasion in the bathroom, and the average length of time I have had to wait for help is around 20 minutes.
“I wouldn’t be able to manage at home without it. People in a similar situation should get Lifeline without hesitation.”
Lifeline is enabling thousands of elderly and vulnerable residents across the East Riding, just like John, to live as independently as possible, for as long as possible in their own homes by providing around the clock support to residents and their families, friends and carers.
In the event of a fall John can press his personal alarm, which is worn as a red button around his neck, alerting the Lifeline control centre, in Driffield.
The control centre is manned by trained operators 24/7 who are ready to take the most appropriate action – whether that is calling a community responder, friend, relative, carer, doctor or the emergency services.
Lifeline community responders carry with them a ‘Manger’ camel – a chair which inflates to help someone up off the floor. This piece of kit was introduced to the service two years ago, and is now being used by responders across the East Riding.
Once a responder attends a fall, if the customer gives their consent, they carry out a level 1 falls assessment, checking things like falls history, environment, medication, vision, hearing, and nutrition.
Responders can refer customers to occupational health to explore the installation of aids around the home to help prevent future falls.
Councillor Richard Harrap, council portfolio holder for adult and carer services, said:
“John’s story is a great example of just how technology, like that available from lifeline, is helping elderly and vulnerable residents across the East Riding to continue living independently.
“Lifeline is a truly invaluable service and one that undoubtedly makes a real difference to the quality of someone’s life.”
Older People’s Day takes place on 1 October to coincide with the United Nations International Day of Older Persons.
Under the banner ‘Full of Life’ the campaign aims to celebrate the achievements of older people, highlight the challenges that people face as they get older, and tackle outdated stereotypes and negative attitudes often associated with older people.
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