Anthony has been blind since birth and relies on his trusty guide dog Rodney to help him get out and about.
Two years’ ago, Anthony discovered MHA, a charity that supports vulnerable older people in their local communities. Anthony started attending his local MHA weekly social club, bringing Rodney along with him.
He loved the chance to get involved with his community and meet other people. Rodney was also a big hit with the other group members.
After a while, the organisers at the community group noticed that Anthony had lost confidence in leaving the house and had started to become isolated.
They found out that Anthony had been threatened for money while out walking on a couple of occasions. Understandably, this led to Anthony feeling scared to leave his house, especially as he had lost the remaining sight he had.
Stepping in to help
After concerns about Anthony’s mental wellbeing, MHA Communities manager Tanya stepped in to help. Tanya started going on a walk twice a week with Anthony and Rodney and got them involved in other MHA social groups.
Anthony attended the reminiscence group and went on the scheme’s first weekend break in 2019. Whilst attending the groups, Anthony was able to support other participants too, particularly people living with dementia.
When lockdown hit, Tanya knew it was important for Anthony’s mental health to be out in the fresh air and talking to her, so she increased the walks with Anthony and Rodney to three times a week, socially distanced and wearing masks.
Anthony feels the regular walks with Tanya have helped him feel less socially isolated. He says, “Tanya’s really helped to keep me connected with other people both, before and during the lockdowns.”
Without his guide dog and the support of MHA, Anthony’s life would be very restricted in terms of his daily living and social contact.
Tanya says, “The walks provide an opportunity for Anthony to regularly talk to someone and being outdoors is good for his health and wellbeing.”
Help future generations live the best later life they can
Anthony’s story is just one example of the dedicated care and support MHA offer older people, whether through their vibrant community groups, specialist care homes or thriving retirement settings.
MHA is the largest charity care provider for older people in the UK. Their mission is to inspire the best care and wellbeing at every stage of later life.
By remembering MHA in your Will you will be helping future generations stay truly connected to their communities and live the very best later life they can.