How Bryson Care One2One Helped Maureen Overcome Severe Anxiety

Bryson One2One Support Worker with her service user

In celebration of World Friendship Day 2019, we spent the morning of July 30th chatting with Grainne and Maureen.

Our Support Worker Grainne has been visiting Maureen on the Lisburn Road for almost a year now, and together, they've forged a deep and meaningful friendship like no other.

Combating Social Isolation With Care

Maureen suffers severe anxiety and was previously house-bound... until she reached out to Bryson Care One2One. Now, with the help of Grainne, she's able to get out and about, whether it's doing the weekly shop in Tesco or just enjoying a coffee on the Lisburn Road. And if Maureen doesn't feel up to it, they'll simply pop the kettle on and enjoy their time together. They laugh. They giggle. They cry... Grainne and Maureen do everything together, really, and their story is a textbook example of how Bryson One2One can drastically improve a person's quality of life.

BRYSON: Maureen, can you tell us a little about yourself and how you found Bryson Care One2One?

Maureen: "Well, I suffer from severe anxiety, which I’ve had for years. And it prevents me from getting out and about. And I have a community psychiatric nurse, and she told me about Bryson House, so she made the initial phone call for me.

"And low and behold, Grainne arrived. I was determined I wasn’t going out – there was no way I was getting out of the house. To her credit, Grainne was very patient with me. If one day I wasn’t comfortable with going outside, she didn’t push me. She became my friend, in that sense… my confidant. She takes me anywhere I want to go. And she’s the light of my life."

BRYSON: Can you tell us what Grainne would do for you during the day?

Maureen: "Grainne fills me with the confidence I’ve never had. She takes me with her, and we’ve been to Lady Dixon park. We’ve been to some lovely shops, too. We had a little bit of a hiccup two weeks ago, when my anxiety started playing up, but Grainne handled it brilliantly and we were back in the house before I knew it. If I have any appointments, she takes me to them. We also go out for coffee, and we’d spend time hoking and poking in charity shops. It’s been a wonderful experience, really. Before Grainne came along, I wasn’t getting out at all. I was too frightened to go out on my own."

BRYSON: And how long has Grainne been visiting you?

Maureen: "Since last October… isn’t that right?"

Grainne: "That’s right – coming up to a year now."

Maureen: “She treats me so beautifully, and I’m very fond of her. Apart from being a carer, I like her as a person. And we get on well. We really have a laugh together, and I haven’t had a lot to laugh about the past six years after my husband and brother passed away. But Grainne has helped me come to terms with this. Honestly, she’s been a godsend.”

Bryson Care One2One Logo

BRYSON: Grainne, what was it that interested you in One2One?

Grainne: "I’ve been working with the elderly for the past 25-odd years. I also spent time working in hospitals, as well as voluntary work. Befriending, companionship… these are things I had been doing for a long time. Then I discovered One2One, and I thought, ‘if I’m doing it voluntary, I may as well get paid for it!’ [laughs]. At the moment I have four clients. With Maureen, I knew I had to take it slow – and we did. So, if I came here one day and she didn’t want to go out, we just popped the kettle on and had a good chat instead. We laugh, we giggle, we cry… we do everything together. And we’ve become friends.”

Maureen: “I second that.”

BRYSON: I understand you call out to Maureen two hours per fortnight?

Grainne: That’s right, yes.

Support at Home

BRYSON: And what would you say is the best thing about the service?

Grainne: The best thing about One2One? You’re probably going to laugh about this – not having to do any personal care! I spent my life taking people in and out of bed. But now, I love my job… I really do. Like Maureen, I sit with them and have a chat, it’s just a lovely job.

BRYSON: I suppose the transition from personal care to befriending has helped, too?

Grainne: Very much so, there’s a big difference [laughs].

BRYSON: And finally, do either of you have any comments about the service?

Maureen: For me, it’s been a godsend. Before I found One2One, I was very much alone. I have four step-children, but they all live 60-odd miles away. For the last six years, I was house-bound. But now, I’m getting out and about, and I’m really enjoying it. You make a friend, which is just lovely.    

Should you wish to enquire about Bryson Care One2One and the support we can provide, don't hesitate to pick up the phone – 028 90 347731.

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