Now living in South Wales, Basil, aged 79, relies heavily on two hearing aids. This, together with only having one arm and increasingly severe arthritis hasn’t damped his spirits! “I’m just too independent; I always want to do things on my own!” He said.
A few years ago Basil’s confidence started to slip as he noticed his hearing deteriorating. “I used to go everywhere by myself but then I noticed that I couldn’t hear the traffic when I was crossing roads. At the same time, much of my local town centre was pedestrianised which meant that I just couldn’t find my way around; there were no curbs to follow. That was a huge knock to my confidence.” He continued.
Basil was introduced to Deafblind Cymru through his local social services department and was quickly put in touch with Peter, a volunteer befriender. Peter visits Basil every Friday. Basil said “Peter makes a big difference to my life. He helps me with small things that are really important to me, like going shopping and helping me with my iPhone. He’s a good friend and we get on really well. If my house is a mess when he visits, he’ll tell me and help me tidy up. He even fixed a broken drawer last week!”
One such example of the small things making a big difference is when Basil’s hearing started to deteriorate and he was unable to hear his intercom system. Deafblind Cymru’s Community Engagement Officer, Rhiannon, made numerous calls and emails to the local housing association, audiology and social services departments in a bid to obtain a louder intercom for Basil. After much deliberation, the request was finally approved by the local authority sensory team and Basil now has a new intercom which he can hear. He said “the new intercom is brilliant; I can hear when I have visitors again!”
Basil’s positive attitude will always keep him going but he is grateful for the opportunity to have additional support if he needs it. He said “I’m nobody’s responsibility, I like to do things for myself but I know that help is there me if I need it. It’s nice to know that I just have to ask. Deafblind Cymru is a very important organisation in my opinion.” Concluded Basil.