Companions who care

“The Trinity carers are more like my friends,” says 84-year-old Norma Wilson, who has moved to Surrey from hometown Newcastle to live with her son just one year ago.

It’s not been an easy move for Norma who had lived all her life up North and who could never have imagined leaving the home she had shared with her husband for many years. But when he died and she was left alone with the rest of her family living just out of London, it made sense for her to move down to live with them.

“It’s been very hard to lose my husband and since many of my close friends have died, I was becoming more and more alone,” she explains.”I wanted to see more of my children and grand children.”

It made sense to move in with her son and family in Surrey and yet not knowing anyone – apart from the family has been difficult. That’s when the Trinity team stepped in.

Once, or twice a week, one of the Trinity home team drop in just to say hello, take Norma out for a coffee, a stroll to the shops or pop into an event at the local rest home. They also keep an eye on whether she has taken her medication. “It’s worked really well,” explains Gill Wilson, Norma’s daughter in law.

 “It’s someone for Norma to talk to and take her out when we are at work. She’s not so lonely and that means we can feel more relaxed too.”

It’s also meant someone can be there for Norma if there’s a change of plan. Gill’s own father recently had a stroke, so she had to drop everything, and drive up and down the motorway to her own parents, meaning the family couldn’t be around for Norma.

“We needed the Trinity life-line to step up then,” explains Gill. “As situations have changed, we have been able to up the amount of care from Trinity and then change it back down again. They’ve got everything from half hour visits to more, depending on our needs and that’s been brilliant.”

For Norma, and the new friends she’s made with the Trinity team, it’s also been a lifeline. “I would get very down if I was by myself all the time,” says Norma.

“They’re so friendly and interested in me – I feel lucky to have them.”