Delyth was an active, globe-trotting, 70-something, until she fell down the stairs at her home in South Wales. Here she shares her story and how Care & Repair have helped her.

Up until 2021, I was a relatively fit and healthy 71-year-old. I enjoyed life to the full, going on holidays to China, Vietnam, Peru, America and Canada.

However, after a fall downstairs in the January, I found myself having difficulties at home doing basic things. After two visits to A&E, it was found that I had fractured two vertebrae and I had to wear a back brace during the day for the next four months.

I found it difficult to walk upstairs, have a shower, stand to cook my meals and wash up as well as trying to get outside. I had to rely on a neighbour and a good friend to see to my recycling as well as other basic things in life.

I had heard about Care & Repair from my neighbour, but at that time didn’t think it applied to me. She gave me the contact number and I eventually contacted them.

Following this, Jayne Jones the Care & Repair Caseworker visited my home and got in touch with the Occupational Therapist. She ordered galvanised rails outside and grab rails for the doors. The Occupational Therapist visited and recommended what was needed for the stairs and bath.

Subsequently, I had a handrail fitted up the stairs, a rail in the shower, one above the bath and one at the side of the toilet. I was also given a perching chair for the kitchen – something which I have found invaluable, as sitting on it means that my back does not give me too much pain when cooking and washing up. It also helps take the strain off my knee, as I cannot stand for any length of time. It has given me far more confidence, which took a blow when I fell.

Further visits gave me handrails by the back door, my patio door and up the steps to the lower patio. These enable me to put out my recycling without the necessity of relying on my neighbours – thus helping me keep my independence.

The one thing I did miss was the ability to have a bath. I was very reluctant to have one, having been stuck in the bath on one occasion and not being able to get back out. I eventually did manage to get out, but it left me very unsure and wary of going in again. I mentioned this to Jayne, who again got in touch with the Occupational Therapist. She visited once more and now I have a bath lift and am able to have a bath in the knowledge I won’t get stuck again. Bliss!!!

I was surprised to find that I did not have to pay for any of this – something that I had offered to do, but was emphatically told that I was entitled to these benefits.

As time has gone by I am still able to drive – thankfully – but have found walking more and more difficult so have to use a walking stick. They have found through tests and x-rays that I have osteoporosis and arthritis, so I am now on the waiting list for a knee replacement.

Jayne applied for both my Attendance Allowance and Blue Badge. I am pleased to say that I have been granted a blue parking badge – something I find invaluable. I am also in receipt of the attendance allowance – which I use to pay for a cleaner to come every week and someone to do my bed laundry.

I cannot reiterate how much Care & Repair has helped me, to keep me safe and relatively independent.

It is a GOLD STAR initiative which should be praised in any way possible. Long may it last.

Delyth Parry

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