OPAL

Information and Advice for Adults in East Dunbartonshire

Category: Case Studies (Page 1 of 2)

Supporting a younger person to find Volunteering Opportunities

“I attend university three days per week and thought it would be worthwhile giving some spare time back to my local community. I currently have a number of health conditions that would make some volunteering duties difficult, so I phoned OPAL to see if they knew if much was available to me.

My OPAL Adviser referred me on to EDVA, a local organisation who oversees the development of charities across East Dunbartonshire.

I spoke with Scott at EDVA who mentioned the befriending scheme and that I would be eligible for the Saltire Awards as I am younger than the age of 25. It was also great to know that I could still volunteer in my local community even with my particular health conditions.

I now spend a couple of hours a week chatting on the phone and visiting people in my local area who enjoy the company. I am always excited to meet new people and it’s very rewarding when the people are just as enthusiastic to see me. I am currently working towards my ‘Approach’ award, the second stage of the Saltire Awards.”

Supporting a younger person with Carer’s Support

“As a young carer, it was all getting a bit much for me and it can often go that way. I was referred onto OPAL’s social media pages by a friend who had seen the service online. The OPAL Facebook page had examples of how it has supported people before and I could relate to some of the case examples, so I sent a message with some contact details to see if they could help.

An OPAL Adviser contacted me the following day and it was nice to chat with somebody who really understood my situation and explained who was best for me to talk to in regards of support organisations.

My Adviser put me in contact with a support worker at Carers Link. I now attend carer support days and am part of a online community where people in similar situations to myself can come to discuss little things like their day and what they’ve been up to. I have also recently secured some funding from Carers Link for short a break which I intend to use for a family day out to Edinburgh”

Supporting a younger person with a Benefits Check

“I emailed OPAL to find out if extra support was available for me. I get by ok at the minute but now I’m going back to college and have a particular health condition that makes this process difficult, I contacted OPAL in hope of discovering if there was anything available to me that I am not aware of.

My OPAL Adviser discussed what services it would be worth contacting and helped me with this process. I got an appointment at my local CAB office who mentioned it may be worthwhile doing an income maximisation check. The result was good and in simple terms, I was happy to discover that I was eligible for more money than I was receiving before. This has certainly helped with transport back and forth to the college, which was the main obstacle for me. Now I can attend all of my college classes but I’m honestly just happy to be out of the house again.”

Supporting a younger person with an upcoming PIP Assessment

“I contacted OPAL when I needed information about my upcoming PIP Assessment as it was a process that I knew absolutely nothing about. I filled in the contact form on the OPAL website and an OPAL Adviser got back to me to talk it through. We discussed exactly this PIP assessment consisted of and I agreed to be referred on to Ceartas for advocacy support in this situation.

As well as going with me to the assessment, my advocacy worker met with me beforehand to discuss what to expect and helped me prepare. We discussed the criteria reviewed and the type of questions that would be asked at the assessment to determine just how able I was, which included questions like: ‘ how able am I to walk a certain distance’, or ‘am I able to prepare a meal.’ This helped me maximise my chances of getting the correct support and benefits as it gave the assessor a clear understanding of my needs, which proved successful when it came to the decision.”

Contacting OPAL On Behalf of a Relative

The OPAL line is open to all adult residents of East Dunbartonshire and we frequently receive enquiries from people on behalf of their family members and friends. We currently promote the service across a number of social media platforms and by making information of OPAL accessible this way, we have been able to connect with a number of people digitally, as is the case with Chris’ story below.

 

Chris, 24, East Dunbartonshire

“I discovered the OPAL service when browsing Facebook for information on local services. I phoned OPAL on behalf of my Grandad as the bulb in the lamppost outside of his house, had gone out. After hearing of an increase in local burglaries, he was worried that anyone passing could use it as an opportunity to look at the house.

He had a list of outdated telephone numbers for the council that he hadn’t used in a long time so wasn’t awfully sure who would be best to contact. I phoned OPAL to get some answers and ultimately the adviser contacted East Dunbartonshire Council who confirmed that they would send someone out.

After having a brief chat with the OPAL Adviser, we considered other areas that my Grandad would be worth exploring and decided that a benefits check and some information on advanced statements would be helpful.

My Grandad doesn’t communicate particularly very well over the phone and would rather talk in person, so the OPAL Adviser arranged the visits from the appropriate organisations in both areas.

My Grandad was delighted to discover he had a successful Income Maximisation award and has plans to complete an advanced statement in future.

He was very pleased with the service and has since mentioned it to a number of neighbours that live on his street. The whole support process certainly made my life easier and I’m confident that if/when I phone again, OPAL can handle it.”

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.

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