“I felt like everything was falling apart until I contacted CABA. They funded the replacement of my double glazing. Now, not only can I now see my beautiful garden again, my bills have gone down too.”

My wife and I did prepare for our retirement, we had a sensible amount of savings, but my wife became quite ill and paying for her care became quite costly over time. Some years ago she died, and since then I have been using what was left to top up my modest pension. I am now 86 and there is very little left.

I live alone, but am blessed in that my daughter lives nearby and she helps me with all my personal and domestic chores. I need rather a lot of help because my mobility is quite limited. I have had heart attacks and angina – I had a pacemaker fitted some time ago. I also have diabetes and limited sight.

Before I got in touch with CABA, everything was getting a bit much. I had to get to the hospital a lot, which my daughter helped me with, but it was hard for both of us. Often it was very difficult to locate a wheelchair at the hospital and those trips could be very stressful. I began to feel quite low in mood – it felt like everything was falling apart. I was often stuck in the house and it was so cold. There were terrible drafts around the windows and doors. I have always preferred to sit in the conservatory as then I can look at the garden, but the seals had gone on the old double glazing units on the windows. They became so clouded with the condensation, there really was no view at all. 

To be honest, I just felt like giving up. My daughter spotted the CABA advert in a magazine, but initially I was hesitant. I actually felt ashamed that I wasn’t able to manage. The whole situation made me very anxious. I needn’t have worried though. I found CABA to be a very respectful organisation. Despite their services being free, they referred to me as a client and very much act in that vein.

I was provided with a superb Support Officer.  She listened carefully and helped us think of what would improve the situation. They soon arranged for me to receive a mobility scooter which could be taken apart to go into the car. This made the hospital trips much more manageable, and with my daughters help, I started going out more. 

The other thing that really helped was they funded the replacement of the damaged double glazing. Not only can I now see my beautiful garden again, the heating bills have gone down too. In addition they arranged for some painting and minor repairs in the house including a new fuse box as the old one was unsafe.

Finally, CABA continue to help with a fuel allowance, which means I can heat the house without worrying. My house feels cosy and safe again, and with my daughter’s support I do enjoy life as much as my health and eyesight will allow.  Without CABA I think I may have found myself in debt because of the large bills. I also think I would have become totally housebound in a cold and damp house.

If you are reading this and feeling that you should be able to manage on your own, you must get over those initial feelings. CABA are wonderful, you just need to call them today. It doesn’t matter what the reason, everyone needs a bit of support from time to time. My support officer now regularly contacts me to see how I am and its hugely reassuring knowing they are there.

How CABA can help

CABA supports the wellbeing of past and present ICAEW members, ACA students, ICAEW staff members, and their spouses, partners and children up to the age of 25. For advice, information and support please: