John’s illness meant that he could no longer live in his first floor flat. The Accommodation Discharge Co-ordinator found a suitable new home for him.
Mr Hewitson used to work as a forklift truck driver on Barry Dock until he was made redundant in 2008. He was diagnosed with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease which, over the subsequent years, has gradually limited the activity he can do, to the point that for around the last year he has required breathing equipment at all times.
He had developed a habit of sleeping in his armchair rather than going to bed at night; this resulted in his legs gathering fluid and becoming swollen and eventually he developed a wound which required hospital treatment. He was admitted to hospital on 10th February where he remained as an inpatient for 9 weeks. About 4 to 5 weeks into his admission he was visited by the Accommodation Discharge Co-ordinator from the Vale of Glamorgan. Mr Hewitson had been living in a first floor flat in Barry town, but his COPD meant that it would be increasingly difficult for him to get up the stairs to get home. The Accommodation Discharge Co-ordinator started searching for suitable accommodation for him. He was already on the housing list, but he was able to be prioritised because of the special needs he had developed. Initially he was transferred to Redlands House stepdown accommodation in Penarth where he stayed for about 5 weeks while he awaited a permanent solution. Mr Hewitson thought Redlands House was nice but found it difficult mixing with people from Penarth whom he did not know.
On 18 May he moved to a bungalow in a quiet part of Barry. Initially he was reluctant to take it as it had a garden at both the front and the back, which he knew he would not be able to manage, but his sister persuaded him to accept it and now he pays a gardener to keep it smart. The bungalow was decorated by the Council before he moved in, and a new kitchen was provided for him as well. He bought his own furniture and is very happy with his new ground floor accommodation.
Mr Hewitson is now able to live totally independently and feels that would not have been achievable without the help of the Accommodation Discharge Co-ordinator and the Council, who he described as “wonderful”.
With thanks to the Accommodation Solutions Team and Mr Hewitson for sharing his story. November 2016.