Open Arms at Greasborough Library

By Lee Lazenby, Community Engagement Officer

During a session at Greasborough Library the Open Arms Hub was busy due to a fair few people in the library, Lee remembers one elderly lady who will stick in her mind for some time.

The librarian came over to the table and asked if we could speak with an elderly lady, she had popped into the library as a warm space, the weather was atrocious that day, it was blowing a gale and Rotherham had seen a flurry of snow hours earlier.

The lady was called Jane and she really unsettled. She told Lee that she had been diagnosed with dementia the day before and she hadn’t slept all night as she had been mulling over the thought of how this would affect her as time went on. Jane went on to say she had always been independent up until a few years before when she was starting to feel unsteady on her feet and now relied on a walking stick to get about.

She still drives but sometimes she feels as though she is not up to it but still wants to get out and about to socialise with her friends. Lee made the lady a cup of tea before listening to her worries, she suggested the “door to door”, a service that Jane said she had tried using but had been turned down, Lee reiterated she did actually qualify to use the service and suggested she go back to them.

She asked us to write down the info, Lee spent a while chatting and as time went on could tell in her voice she was relaxing and starting to feel more positive. As Jane continued to talk away, we came up with a few more suggestions of ways she could help herself (It was obvious Jane was a very independent lady and found it difficult to ask for assistance when required, although no doubt, she would offer help to others at the drop of a hat. She said she felt overwhelmed how a complete stranger was willing to spend time with someone they had never met before. Lee stated it was all part of the job. Jane couldn’t thank the team enough and was so grateful. We parted ways with her, leaving her with a list of social groups and other help in the area.