How to prevent your loved ones from being isolated during the winter months

02 November 2020

At Delta Wellbeing, we have a multi-measure programme in place to ensure those who need help get it. Connecting people to prevent social isolation is one of the aims of our CONNECT project.

This winter threatens to be the bleakest for a long time, so it's more important than ever that loved ones get the support they need to counteract the effects of isolation.  

Luckily, for vulnerable residents in west Wales, our successful scheme operates to ensure they are not forgotten.

And, as the prospect of prolonged lockdown restrictions leaves many feeling despondent and full of fear, we are here to reassure people that we are always here to help - and have got the tools to make a difference.

Peace of mind for you and your loved ones 24/7

At Delta Wellbeing, we offer a series of reassuring measures to help the vulnerable.

Supporting independent living for longer is the aim of the pilot project, which is the first of its kind in Wales and is funded by the Welsh Government’s Transformation Fund. That enables the West Wales Care Partnership to help identify any potential health and wellbeing issues at the earliest opportunity.

We have the CONNECT service, which offers a full wrap-around support service for you or your loved ones throughout Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion.

Its flexible Technology Enabled Care (TEC) support packages include:

'You don’t know what this means to me'

New and unforeseen challenges have been presented to everyone this year with the outbreak and spread of coronavirus. Some lives have been impacted more than others, and this was certainly the case for a couple, Mr and Mrs S*, from a remote part of Pembrokeshire.

He was diagnosed with cancer more than 12 months ago and was placed in a nursing home some 55 miles from where they had both lived. As his wife was now more isolated than ever during the health crisis, she decided to join the CONNECT project so she had some added security in the form of a lifeline. She also joined its digital pathway to get online and stay connected.

Mrs S was quite nervous about technology, but, after a visit from the Delta team and some basic instruction, was greatly enjoying her new tablet, which meant she could be in contact online with her husband in the home at a time when family visits were prohibited.

Last month, Mr S's health had deteriorated and tests at Withybush Hospital revealed the cancer had spread to his brain. The couple were told he only had weeks, possibly days, to live.

His severe condition meant he was moved to a more suitable room in the nursing home, but one which did not have wifi. This meant he could no longer use his laptop and could only speak to his wife on his mobile phone. He was feeling desolate and desperately lonely.

Thankfully one of Delta Wellbeing’s proactive calls to Mrs S uncovered the issue and led to the team placing a router in the room and connecting it to a tablet so the couple could have their video calls during his final weeks.

Mr S told the team: "I can’t believe you have been so kind, I really can’t believe it. You don’t know what this means to me.”

That weekend, the couple enjoyed daily video chats where Mr S could once again see his beloved dogs and garden.

The collaboration between Pembrokeshire County Council and Delta Wellbeing not only ensured that they could connect this couple in the most desperate of times, but also ensured the nursing home could implement the end of life policy as set out by the authority, allowing Mrs S to visit her husband in his final days.

Later, she told the coordinator: "We are both so eternally grateful to you and all the team. Being with Delta at this time has made all the difference. We can’t thank you enough.”

* Names have been anonymised.

Ready for the winter challenges ahead

Delta Wellbeing will be reaching out to vulnerable people in west Wales this winter

Carmarthenshire Council's executive board member for social care and health councillor Jane Tremlett said: "Many people have been impacted by the previous and recent lockdowns and restrictions that we have faced so far this year, but CONNECT has provided a great support and reassurance to those needing it and offered peace of mind to families who may not have been able visit and care for their loved ones as they usually would.”

It is all about providing the right help at the right time, according to Pembrokeshire Council's director of social services Jonathan Griffiths.

"Working together means we aim to find the best solution to support the person, and their family, we seek to support people to build their confidence, maintain their independence, and for the person and their families to feel confident they are supported and connected,” he said.

Everyone involved in the initiative is now turning their attention to the potentially difficult months ahead, with a pledge that measures are in place to make a difference.

“As we enter the winter months and the challenges that come with it, along with the predicted second wave of the virus, this could be a worrying time for many local residents," said Ceredigion Council’s corporate lead officer for Porth Ceredigion Donna Pritchard.

"However, the CONNECT service can offer that connection, support, reassurance and, ultimately, being pro-active and preventative in our approach will enable us to identify any potential health and wellbeing issues at the earliest opportunity to ensure our clients’ needs are supported accordingly.”

For more details about CONNECT, contact our friendly team on 0300 333 2222.