Carmarthenshire's Delta CONNECT offers "a lifeline" to Edward

When 82-year-old widower *Edward Jones returned to his Llandovery home from a long spell in hospital at the end of 2019, his son, daughter in law and daughter would visit several times a day to help support him in his everyday life and keep an eye on him.

However, everything changed when the lockdown started. Edward began shielding and frequent visits were no longer as easy.

Edward began using the Delta CONNECT service in March 2020 and it has meant the world to him. His mood was extremely low after his lengthy stay in hospital and he had  lost a lot of weight, which left him feeling frail and vulnerable.

As part of the CONNECT service, his assigned Community Wellbeing Officer (CWO) Louise called him weekly to check how he was and whether he needed any help. He also had a Lifeline home unit with pendant to call for help in an emergency.

“I’d been in hospital for four months and was really down in the dumps.” Edward said, “It really helped when I spoke to Louise. She brought me back from the depths of despair.”

For many clients, the service includes food or medical supplies, but Edward was lucky enough to have his family living locally to help with this.

“I’m so lucky to have a fantastic family nearby and they really look after me, but sometimes it’s easier to talk to someone outside of your family because you don’t want them to worry any more that they already are.”

“I can’t speak highly enough of CONNECT. Knowing that there was someone at the end of the phone for me was a lifeline and so reassuring for my family as well.”

The CWOs are trained to identify clients who may need additional support, even when the client hasn’t recognised that need themselves - this has helped Edward's family know that he is safe and supported at home even when they can’t be there

Edward's son *Jonathan said: “The Delta service means a lot to my dad and he feels genuinely privileged to be able to access it. The Lifeline system is invaluable for him and although we’re close by, it’s reassuring for the family to know that help is on hand should he need it.

“The wellbeing calls have been fantastic - he enjoys having someone different to talk to and really looks forward to the calls every week. In a few years I’ll probably be signing myself up."

*Names have been anonymised