Lucy has always lived with her family in the same family home. After her father died without a will, she could not stay in the house. The house had to be sold so the family could have their share of the property.

A family member was her appointee but was not using the money to support Lucy. Lucy found talking and meeting with any people very difficult and was a very private person. Her family felt Lucy should live in some kind of group home or supported living.

Lucy was very independent, mistrusted other people and refused help from most people. Despite some difficulties, she was able to look after herself and did not want to move. Her advocate found issues around possible financial abuse. Lucy had never had control of her money and did not understand her benefits were being paid to her family member.

After providing a listening ear to Lucy, her advocate raised a safeguarding alert and had her social worker make a referral for her own solicitor who became her appointee and deputy.

Lucy was able to tell her advocate when she did need help, for example, when the heating broke down; when the phone stopped working, when all the appliances stopped working in the kitchen.

Her advocate supported her by getting the solicitor to get an electrician out, telephone for a plumber to get the heating working and get the solicitor to order Lucy a new fridge freezer as it was beyond repair.

When coronavirus started Lucy was able to get small amounts of food shopping for herself. During the outbreak, her advocate is checking she has access to money and food. The advocate visited, Lucy’s TV had broken, and she had tried to deal with it herself by buying a second-hand TV which was also broken and not working. The advocate supported Lucy by getting her solicitor to order a new TV and purchase a mobile phone.

Now we have social distancing rules so providing Lucy with a phone, means she can call her advocate or her solicitor if there are any issues, cutting the risk of Lucy having to see people and expose herself to the virus.

Lucy’s TV is essential to her as it was and had always been her main contact with the outside world; she watches the news and is knowledgeable about what was happening. Getting a new TV means she is not completely isolated and has something to watch whilst she is in the house on her own.

Lucy’s solicitor and advocate continue to support her to resolve the issue of whether she has to move and where she might go to live. By providing a listening ear, her advocate knows the area where she lives is very important as Lucy knows the area, local shops and attends her local church, where although she does not socialise, she does recognise other people who knew her parents.

Lucy’s advocate continues to support her to make her voice heard about what she wants for the future, understand what her options are and continue to live as independently as possible. For example, understanding that she has money of her own and can choose to buy things for herself as she needs to.

Lucy would not have known what to do without her advocate in the crisis. She would have been at home with no contact from the outside world.  Her advocate made sure she was safe and had the support she needs.

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