Older People Living with Cancer

Peer advocates supporting older people affected by cancer

Timely advocacy support to elderly gentleman in Sefton

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I have been visiting an 87 year old man who was living in sheltered accommodation with his wife who has dementia.   When we received the referral the gentleman was waiting to undergo tests to confirm that he had cancer.  He was very concerned about how he would be able to cope with the frequent hospital appointments that a diagnosis would bring and with the deterioration in his wife’s ability to perform daily activities.  The gentleman had contacted social services himself but there hadn’t been any contact from them at this point.  This caused him to worry about his wife’s care as well as the uncertainty of his own condition.

I offered to liaise with social services on his behalf and I was able to ensure that a care package was put in place.  Through the networks that we had established whilst promoting the Cancer Advocacy Project I was able to make him aware of services which could offer him support and could support him in his role as a carer.

The gentleman later decided to request respite care for his wife as the frequency of his appointments meant he would be away on a daily basis.  During a phone conversation he expressed concern that the respite placement would end during the main body of his treatment.  Once again I contacted social services to ensure that arrangements were in place to care for his wife for as long as needed.

In addition to this I was able to supply the gentleman with information about services that could support him emotionally or practically as he told me he was concerned about his own needs in the future.

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Author: kathparson

Chief Executive of Older People's Advocacy Alliance (UK)

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