September 2023

When pensioner Colin Burley broke his back after a nasty fall, he never thought he’d live independently again.

Colin, 80, was hospitalised for several months in early 2020 after he fell and landed awkwardly, fracturing four vertebrae.

“I was taken into hospital and told I’d broken my back,” said Colin, who lives in Stretford, in Greater Manchester. “During my recovery, I was in bed that long, I had to learn to walk again. I then picked up covid while I was in hospital – it was a scary time.”

Fortunately, after a few months, Colin was discharged from the hospital and transferred to a specialist clinic where he received assistance allowing him to learn how to walk again. “They gave me all sorts of physio, so eventually, with the aid of a walker, I could just about get about,” said Colin, who sadly lost his long-term partner, Jean, in 2015.

In the meantime, talks were underway about how Colin’s future care should be managed, and it was suggested he might consider going into a care home. However, thanks to the determination of his younger sister Linda, combined with the help of L&Q Living’s Alert and Response service, she was able to put a support package together.

“My sister fought tooth and nail to bring me home, she’s the matriarch now,” joked the former engineer. “Linda set everything up, she saved me, really.” With the help of his sister, a support package was set up, which included bringing carers into Colin’s home and installing an L&Q Living Alert and Response pendant alarm and sensors on his armchair and bed. This meant that he was able to call for help 24 hours a day, seven days a week if he needed it.

As time went on his condition gradually improved and he was able to cut down on the level of care he was receiving.

However, he has kept his pendant alarm and sensors for added reassurance, so if he finds himself in difficulties again, he can get help at the touch of a button.

L&Q Living’s Alert and Response service offers peace of mind through a variety of specialised equipment linked to a control centre that is open all day, every day. Options range from pendants and sensors like Colins to GPS watches and robotic dementia pets, which help to stimulate conversation and communication in withdrawn individuals.

“Having a care package in place has made a massive difference.  Since I came home from hospital I remember thinking at the time, I don’t think I’ll ever come down these stairs again on my own.”

But with the support of his sister, regular physio and his alarm pendant, bed, and armchair sensors, he’s been able to get his independence back.

“It was a great feeling to walk down those stairs again. The first few times I had to have assistance but once I got my confidence, I was OK on my own. I couldn’t have reached this point without the help and support of L&Q Living and their services,” said Colin.

Please note that our full Alert and Response service is currently only available to L&Q residents living in Trafford. However, we plan to expand this service so that all residents can access it and will keep you updated in future editions of Homelife.

To find out more, please visit our Alert and Response page