CareLink uses telephone befriending to support people over 65 in Stoke-on-Trent who are struggling with the effects of loneliness and isolation, to keep them healthy and independent in their own homes for as long as possible.
Trained volunteers phone our CareLink friends at regular times each week with the purpose of:
- Showing service users that someone cares and is interested in them
- Reducing feelings of loneliness and isolation
- Monitoring health and wellbeing
- Getting to know people, and picking up concerns before they become serious
- Reminding people to take medication, keep warm and eat regular meals if needed
- Building up trust to increase confidence
- Encouraging and facilitating participation in community groups or other social activities
- Keeping people healthy, happy and independent in their own homes
Volunteers chat with their CareLink friends about whatever interests them, including families and memories. Knowing that someone cares about what is important to them has a powerful impact on their sense of well-being. Because our volunteers speak to the same people regularly, they are able to pick up signs that all might not be well. For instance, unusual levels of confusion could be an indication of an undetected urinary tract infection which can develop into a health crisis if untreated.
An important part of our mission is to help people socialise and reconnect with their community. We have been able to take small groups of service users on monthly heritage trips to different places around the city. Past trips have included Emma Bridgewater, Royal Stafford, Gladstone and Stoke City Football Club.