OPAL

Information and Advice for Adults in East Dunbartonshire

Month: August 2016

Wheelchair-Accessible Walk at the Marina

OPAL Helps You Take a Hike!

A story on the BBC News today is emphasising the importance of exercise for older people, and pointing out the barriers that they perceive which stop them from getting out and getting fit.

OPAL can help older people in East Dunbartonshire, as well as people in recovery, people with disabilities and long-term conditions, to find the right sort of exercise opportunities to keep them fit, active and healthy.

Current guidance suggests we shouls all be getting 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise (ie you don’t become so out of breath that you can’t talk), which could be a twenty minute walk each day!

If you are looking for opportunities to improve your fitness, or you want to refer people into organised and appropriate fitness activities in East Dunbartonshire, give OPAL a call on 0141 438 2347, Monday to Friday, 9:30 – 4:30.

Scottish Government Report: Access to Outdoor Recreation by Older People.

Mr F, Kirkintilloch

Mr F was the primary carer for his wife who passed away last year. Since then, Mr F’s physical health has deteriorated. His daughter who stays near is very worried about her father and feels he is extremely isolated and his mental health has deteriorated over the last year. He was under the community mental health team but was discharged in February.

Mr F normally uses taxis to go to places and after contacting OPAL was awarded full benefits after an income maximization check. His daughter was wondering if there were any groups or activities that Mr F could attend and a discussion ensued about EDICT and Men’s Shed, and information was sent out.

The OPAL adviser followed up the case and the daughter explained that the difference in Mr F is night and day, mostly down to the Men’s Shed. Mr F’s daughter explained that her father is never away, now travels on his own and has built up friendships. His health is better and is no longer isolated and Mr F’s daughter is amazed at the difference in her father.

Mrs H, Twechar

Mrs H called looking for information about extra care or possibly moving into a care home as she felt she was no longer coping well enough at home.

She gets Home Care four times per day and pays for someone to come in and make her dinner for her in the evening, but feels her biggest obstacle is coping in the morning when she gets up. Mrs H describes herself as ‘slow to get going’ and thinks that the ten minutes she gets from Home Care is not enough for her to get comfortable.

Her OPAL adviser explained about Self Directed Support and direct payments, and how she could get someone to come in for longer in the morning and either spend less time during the rest of the day or top up her payments to get extra hours for the week.

When Mrs H called back, she revealed that she was so much happier that she can remain in her own home now she uses Self Directed Support and Direct Payments and feels like a weight has been lifted.

Mr J, Bishopbriggs

Mr J is socially isolated at home. He has no family or friends close by and does not have any services in place.  He is also unable to work due to limited mobility, he struggles to get in and out of his house due to the number of steps at his front door, and he has a heavy financial commitment with his mortgage which he cannot always meet.

OPAL referred him to money advice and income maximisation service in East Dunbartonshire. Mr J was also referred to Occupational Therapy and the Befriending service offered at EDVA.
A funding application to make his house more accessible was also successful and he also received £2,300.00 in his income maximisation check.

Mr J stated “I thought my next move was to a nursing home and can’t believe that I can now stay in my own home. I also can’t believe that it only took one phone call to help me in a number of ways”.

Mrs M, Milton of Campsie

Mrs M’s G.P referred her OPAL as she was feeling quite isolated as her spouse had recently passed away. Her G.P felt that mixing with people with similar interests would be beneficial for her and would help her through this difficult time.

Information and a referral to the Befriending service was made and also information on various local lunch and social clubs was provided.  Mrs M got back in touch and explained she is very happy with the information received and stated

“I have now joined a lunch club, a walking club and have made some great new friends, so thank you.”

Mr & Mrs S, Kirkintilloch

Mrs & Mr S have 2 children under the age 5 who both have disabilities.  They called to find out if OPAL could assist them in checking that they receive the correct benefits on their children’s behalf.

A home visit was made, the forms were completed correctly and successful income maximisation was achieved.  Mrs S stated that without being informed of the OPAL service, her and her partner did not know where to turn and were ill with stress and worry. Now they feel a weight has been lifted.

Mrs F, Lenzie

Mrs F has had recent knee replacement operation.  Mrs F explained that she was in a lot of pain and was quite down by her perceived lack of recovery. Mrs F also confided with the OPAL team member that she is also in tears most of the time.

A referral was made to her G.P for further treatment and advised her of Physio and also to have some adaptions fitted in her home. Information and was sent to her about local older people and arts and crafts groups which operate in the Lenzie area,  Mrs F explained “regular contact always cheers her up”.  OPAL referred Mrs F to two local groups and Mrs F has stated that she values the regular contact and stated that she is extremely content with what one phone call has achieved on her behalf.

Mr R, East Dunbartonshire

Mr R is elderly and lives with wife. He has a problem with his roof and has had three companies out to look but the problem still persists. He has even went up to look himself, climbing up a height on ladders. OPAL advised not to do this again and liaised with Trading Standards for a list of reputable local tradesmen.

Mr R re-contacted to thank OPAL profusely as the problem was fixed, and at not as much cost as previously quoted. He said it was making him and his wife ill with worry and thanked his OPAL adviser for peace of mind, saying he will be giving the OPAL number to all of his neighbours.

Mrs B, Torrance

Mrs B was referred by her GP for a benefits check.  OPAL assisted her by contacting both the pension service and DWP and going through an income check based on her present circumstances.

Mrs B’s State Pension was increased, she was awarded high rate attendance allowance and pension credit. She was also referred to Counselling Services and an appointment was made with a Wellbeing Adviser.

Mrs B feels she has made very positive steps and was previously unaware of entitlement to benefits or what other help was available and thanked OPAL so much for the help we have given her.

Ms M, Kirkintilloch

Miss M called OPAL as she was in rent arrears with the Local Authority for £780 and was facing eviction from her home. Miss M has a disabled child under 4 so was feeling extremely stressed and unwell.

As Miss M was at college and had received a bursary; she had to use this money for the upkeep of her home, paying utility bills and buying food but had fallen into rent arrears.

OPAL referred Miss M to citizens advice who assisted her to complete a housing benefit application and a request for a backdated of payment to when her college course ended. This was successful and full housing benefit was awarded and the arrear was reduced with this payment.

Miss M has secured her home and thanked OPAL profusely for the help and assistance she received.

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