After being diagnosed with early onset dementia, Sylvia* found her confidence at a low and became too frightened to take part in the usual social activities she once so enjoyed.
She didn’t feel safe going out alone and this led to her feeling isolated and withdrawn. She was referred to Halifax Opportunities Trust’s Staying Well programme in April 2018.Staying Well is the Trust’s flagship project to tackle social isolation within central Halifax by supporting people to engage in social activities and health services in the community. After an initial visit from Staying Well worker, Helen, it was clear that although Sylvia was keen to try out some of the local groups and community events on offer, her fear of being
in unfamiliar settings or attending groups without knowing people who might be there was a big barrier. Helen agreed to accompany Sylvia to a local church group, Siddal MeetingPoint, picking her up from home and taking her along so that she wouldn’t be alone.
Sylvia’s first visit to Siddal Meeting Point was a huge success, she enjoyed the activities immensely and after such a long period alone was pleased to be out and about meeting people and socialising. She agreed to attend the following week’s gathering and took part in a curling session arranged by the Staying Well team to encourage light exercise and physical activity.
Sylvia has continued to attend Siddal Meeting Point and enjoys the mix of activities that have included baking, board games, arts and crafts, and even a trip out to Bankfield Museum as well as the social aspect – getting out of the house and meeting new people rather than spending days at home alone feeling isolated.
She said: “I think the group is fab, I am feeling a lot better in myself. I like communicating people and everyone here is so lovely and friendly.”
*name changed to protect individuals identity.