Vera, who’s eighty-nine, has been a widow for a long time, but after her husband died her son stayed with her during the week, commuting back to Devon at the weekends to be with his family. Sadly he died very suddenly and Vera was on her own. The rest of her family live too far away to see her very often.
Former social worker Louise has been visiting Vera in her home for sometime now: “Louise is so happy,” Vera says. “She comes in, pulls up her chair and we talk about anything and everything and put the world to rights. She’s so bright and breezy, I never see her looking miserable! It means I’ve got something to look forward to on a Friday afternoon, otherwise I’d be by myself.
I don’t need a carer, I have someone to do the housework and all my meals are provided. Louise is company – I miss people and without her I’d be lonely.” Louise has noticed a big change in Vera in the last few months: “Vera was very quiet when I started visiting her. She was a bit depressed and felt isolated. I come and have a chat and keep her company. It’s more than a social occasion – you build up a relationship with the people you visit.”
Louise really enjoys volunteering. “I do it because I love it. I get satisfaction from knowing that I’ve made someone happy. I see it as a two-way thing – not only am I giving Vera a bit of company, but it gives me something to do, too. It keeps us both happy!”