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Sitting Service & Carer Connector

Neath Port Talbot Carers Service provides the following services to decrease isolation and loneliness among carers:

Connecting Carers Project (Big Lottery Funded)

This project has two parts, one is a sitting service and one is a carer connector:

  • The Sitting Service provides peace of mind to carers with a volunteer put in place to keep the cared for company while the carer is able to "have a life of their own" and a break from their caring role. The sitting service does not provide domiciliary care, but does provide company to those who do not like to be on their own while the carer tends to their own health and/or social needs. 
  • The Carer Connector works one to one with carers to support them in accessing anything and everything in their own community. This could be training, volunteering, leisure activities, hobbies etc. For those carers who have been isolated for long periods of time and feel "nervous" but are keen to explore activities the Carer Connector will accompany them to whatever activity they choose. The Carer Connector is also supporting carers to run their own social/coffee mornings. 

Additional Activities 

Regular coffee mornings are held to provide carers with opportunities to access:

  • Information (i.e. 111 NHS phone system, Welfare Benefits, Direct Payments etc.)
  • Lose Yourself In Craft Sessions (Dragon Arts Centre facilitate this and carers now access the arts centre together in their own time)
  • Singing for Fun ( this has been developed by carers themselves)
  • Walks (held in various parks and venues) 
  • We are now looking to work with Actif Woods to run outdoor social session.

Health & Well Being days

  • Carers and the person they care for can attend together to access information, workshops and taster sessions for activities such as yoga. 

Although all of the above can decrease isolation and loneliness the projects also provide a preventative service to decrease the anxiety and stress that carers also tend to feel. 

A carer was referred to the Carers Service from Social Services for a carers assessment. When we contacted him he declined the assessment, the support worker offered a home visit for a chat and information instead. During the home visit the carer expressed his sadness due to being unable to golf with his friends and socialise. His wife has dementia and he is struggling to cope with the isolation.

We were able to offer the free sitting service we provide on a regular basis (once a fortnight). This was put in place within two weeks of the initial information visit. The carer is now able to have time for himself to do what he enjoys. Following on from this there is also now direct payments in place and we are able to compliment that service.

"I am now in a routine of going out, I feel upbeat and positive and find I have far more patience for my wife. I am no longer isolated, I have also managed to ensure my wife has social interaction from organisations the Carers Service signposted us to. Life is not perfect but it is better then it was."

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