Catching a taxi into town and back might seem like a simple thing – but for Gloria it has totally transformed her life for the better.

Gloria is 75 and lives in Hereford. She cares for her husband, Christopher. Christopher was initially diagnosed with vascular dementia in 2011. His health deteriorated slowly at first, and for a long time he could do many of the things he’d always done. But in the last few years his care needs have increased significantly, and he now needs round the clock support at home.

Gloria was born and raised in Columbia. She met Christopher not long after she moved to the UK through a mutual friend. A trained hairdresser, Gloria was always a very sociable person and enjoyed meeting new people and socialising through work.

As Christopher’s health deteriorated, Gloria stopped working to care full time for her husband. Her social networks broke down and finding support was a struggle.

In 2021 Gloria and Christopher were referred into TuVida’s Carer Links Hereford service by local charity Dementia Matters Herefordshire.

After Gloria and Christopher were referred into Carer Links, Carer Links worker Leah initially helped Gloria with practical things such as reading and replying to letters and documentation – English is not Gloria’s first language and she needed help understanding some of the detail.

It was also clear to Leah that Gloria was really missing meeting people and socialising as she had become very isolated. Leah helped Gloria to apply for a carers grant to pay for a taxi to and from a local carers group once a week. The grant was also able to cover replacement care for Christpher, so Gloria could head out for a couple of hours each week safe in the knowledge Christopher was being looked after.

Being able to socialise with people again has been transformative for Gloria: “Every week I go and meet new people at the carers group, it’s friendly, welcoming and I really enjoy going out again. I was worried about leaving Christopher, but I can see he’s happy and in safe hands, so that enables me to relax. TuVida have been brilliant – I’m so grateful for all their help.”

Leah said: “I have always enjoyed helping Gloria. She is a great character and always very grateful for our support. She has never once complained about her role as a carer and is utterly dedicated to Christopher. I’m really happy that the grant we applied for together has made such a difference to her.”