Gonna get myself connected!

Graham lives with his wife Debbie in an affluent part of Glossop. He is 65 years old and has Huntington’s Disease. As well as the physical changes this condition had brought about to his life he was also suffering with his mental health and sometimes became frustrated at his circumstances. There was also a lot of pressure on his wife Debbie and she was experiencing carer burden. He was referred for Community Navigation via his GP at Manor House Surgery in Glossop due to problems coping, mental health, and angry outbursts. A home visit was arranged to meet with Graham and Debbie.

At the assessment it was identified that Graham had held a managerial position in a housing association and in his spare time loved DIY. In recent times however his hobbies had become more difficult because of the changes to his mental and physical health and wellbeing. Socially, he attended a men’s group once a week, and a model aeroplane and a model boating club weekly. The assessment also provided the opportunity to find out what was important to Graham and thereby provided an insight into what solutions could be offered to help him reach his goals. His Community Navigator created a bespoke Social Support Menu which detailed the various opportunities and activities available to him.

The Community Navigator and Graham maintained contact over a five month period. Throughout this time they shared 6 face to face visits consisting of home visits and chaperone sessions and also telephone contacts. Via his Community Navigator Graham was linked in with Men’s Shed. He was chaperoned to his first session and then attended independently thereafter. This was an excellent fit given his previous interest in DIY. Following this the Community Navigator supported him to access Live Life Better Derbyshire’s Exercise by Referral Scheme and concurrently connected him up with a volunteer gym buddy. In his professional life the gym buddy that Graham has been linked up with is a paramedic, again this is an excellent fit given that Graham has Huntington’s disease and it therefore gave Debbie the reassurance that Graham was in safe hands. Improving Graham’s access to exercise was important as this is known to contribute to improved mood, concentration, and improved strength, balance and coordination.

After just five months with the Community Navigation service Graham’s become a valuable contributor to his local community, has structure to his week and a clear sense of purpose and value. His confidence has grown. At the outset Graham was open to the opportunities offered and willingly participated in the process.

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