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Working with elderly South Asian women to reduce isolation and vulnerability.

The Roshni BME Elders project is devoted to improving the quality of life of women aged 50 plus, through the provision of a wide range of cultural and language-specific activities. 

The service focuses on empowering older South Asian women in Sheffield by increasing their awareness of relevant issues around isolation, poverty and adult abuse. These issues are often heightened due to cultural, linguistic, and financial factors, which our project aims to address and overcome.

Our café-style group sessions have included information/awareness raising on mental health, dementia, oral health, healthy eating for diabetes, cancer awareness, benefits awareness, and so on. These sessions have been run in partnership with agencies such as Ship Shape, St Luke's, Breast Cancer and Care, Cancer Support Centre, Stroke Association, Sheffield Environmental Movement and the Sheffield CAB. 

The support offered:

  • Increase in awareness of health and well-being issues
  • Access to group sessions and coffee mornings on a regular basis
  • Meet new people in a safe and friendly environment
  • A range of social, recreational, and therapeutic activities
  • Information and advice on personal safety, and more
  • Advice on existing services for older people
  • Help to access services that you may need

Many of these women we support are now widows, others are women who have lived in extended families and who are now living isolated from them and the community. Some are older women whose relationships with their children/husbands have broken down and they are often unable to manage their own affairs, lack self-esteem, and confidence, and suffer from multiple and complex health problems.  

 

Enquire about Empowerment Services
(Please note that Roshni is a culture and language specific service for South Asian women from Pakistani, Indian or Bangladeshi backgrounds only.)


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Case Studies

Client A is an existing Roshni client referred to the BME Elders project by the Empowerment Project. She was extremely isolated after having lived alone for a number of years as she had divorced several years ago and her children had left home. She was unsure of how to reengage with the wider community and had issues with managing day to day tasks. The BME Elders project was able to assist Client A by providing emotional support as well as practical support to increase her well being. We sign posted the client to a shelter, a housing charity who worked on securing adequate housing for the client as she wanted to move house. We followed up by maintaining regular contact with her support worker at Shelter and assisting where needed. We also invited the client to activities and events where she could meet other women from her community. The client is now more confident and has established her old relationships with family and made some new friends.

Client B was referred to the BME Elders project by a concerned family doctor. Client was extremely isolated due to mobility and health issues. She is also a full time carer for her ill husband. Client B was unable to communicate on the phone effectively due to her health so we arranged to visit the client in her home. During our home visit we were able to better understand the problems that were being faced by the client. We were also able to meet with her daughter (who provided occasional care for her parents) and her husband. After discussions with the client and her family, we realised that the client suffered from isolation and also stress from caring for her husband. We referred the client to Sheffield Adult Social Care team to assign a social worker to the client. Through follow up and partnership work, the client has now been offered financial assistance through self directed support and has also had mobility adaptations made to her home to assist her further.

Client C was referred to the project by her family. They felt that client was extremely depressed and felt that she had no support. The family had found it very hard to cope with their mother’s deteriorating mental health. We visited the client on a number of occasions to sort out benefits which were available to her. We also referred the client to Sheffield Adult Social Care team who were later able to provide adaptations to the client’s home and a commode to assist her when she was alone. In addition, we referred the client to Sheffield Mind to help the client with her mental health issues, as well as making her GP aware of her state. We noticed during the visits that her daughters were having trouble with their own issues and referred them to an IAPT worker and Roshni Empowerment Project.