Auriga’s Welfare Service Enhances Renal Patient’s Independence

Parveen is a single parent who lives in Birmingham with her 12-year-old daughter. During her pregnancy she was diagnosed with renal failure which now means she has to receive treatment three times a week. Being partially sighted and coping with learning difficulties, has made it difficult for Parveen to manage bills and other household paperwork.

Whilst on dialysis at The Woodgate Treatment Centre, Parveen met Nicola, a Welfare Advisor at Auriga. Nicola spent extensive time with Parveen to understand her personal circumstances and how she was coping.  Although it was clear she had a great family support network and neighbours who did a lot to help her, Parveen required intensive help.

First on the list was to purchase a new bed to replace her daughters broken one, courtesy of Severn Trent Trust Fund. Nicola then successfully appealed against the HMRCs decision requesting her pay back a lump sum of over £5,000 – 2 years of overpayment and also reinstated Tax Credits totalling £64.00 a week. Adding to this a successful claim for Personal Independence Payments (PIP) increased her income by £139.75 per week.

We then went on to review her utility bills, and identified she was eligible for Severn Trent Water’s Big Difference Scheme; this allowed her to get £300 discount off her annual water bill. Further to this we recommended she switched to a cheaper energy tariff using our Auriga Switch service.

Parveen admitted she was not confident to go out alone, mainly due to being in a wheelchair and also partially sighted. After an extensive appeal to the local authority, a drop kerb was fitted outside Praveen’s house to allow her wheelchair access to cross the road safely.

To aid Parveen further, we successfully sourced £2,600, thanks to Auriga, Kidney Care UK, Eaton Fund, Independence at Home and the Kidney Patient’s Association for an innovative digital device to enhance Parveen’s visibility. The device would help Parveen to read, recognise colours, people and products which has allowed her to become more independent and share experiences with her daughter.

Martin Plowman, Patient Grants Manager at Kidney Care UK said, ” we are delighted that our patient grants programme was able to support Parveen improve her quality of life. It was an unusual request for the charity, but precisely why are grants are so flexible and personal to individual needs.”

The digital device manufactured by Orcam fits onto the arm of Parveen’s glasses and comes with a handheld control.  The device allows her to read, programme in recognition of products such as medication and food, recognise people’s faces, colours and even tells the time.

Reflecting on the help received, Parveen said “Auriga have been incredible from the start, they helped me with so much financially which I am truly grateful for. I was told about the device that would help me be visually independent – never would I have expected this to happen. The device reads to me and I am able to go to the shops for simple things like milk. I have been given a new lease of life.”    

Parveen feels much more independent and confident as a result of the support she has received from Auriga.