Independent living support for war veteran and flood victim


A 96-year-old war veteran whose home was devastated during Storm Dennis has been given a new lease of life, thanks to Cardiff's Independent Living Services.


Gordon Matthews was rescued from his home in Nantgarw on his 96thbirthday in February when last winter's stormy and wet weather brought floods to South Wales and across the country.


The World War II Royal Air Force veteran featured on national news being taken to safety from his home in a boat surrounded by knee-high flooded water. His treasured war medals were the only things he managed to salvage from his home before leaving.


Now, Mr Matthews is safe and well living with his daughter Catherine in his childhood home in Tongwynlais, which has been possible thanks to the intervention of the Council's Independent Living Services.


The service takes afully integrated, person-centred approach to removing barriers to daily living and independence forelderly and vulnerable people in the city  based on the their own goals, strengths and identified outcomes. The service supports individuals to remain active and as independent as possible living at home by helping them access services, providing advice and equipment or carry out adaptations at their homes.


A number of adaptations to the Tongwynlais property were carried out by the Council including the installation of a stair lift, level access shower, rails to assist Mr Matthews' mobility around the house, chair raisers, a bed loop to help getting in and out of bed, additional heating and improved access to the home.

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Leader of the Council, Cllr Huw Thomas, said: "Mr Matthews' story is a perfect example of the great work carried out by Independent Living Services to help people live as independently as possible for as long as possible. It demonstrates the impact the service has on people's lives.


"The work at Mr Matthews' daughter's home means he can live with family and not be alone, at this particularly difficult time.  We know he is beginning to recover from the distress he experienced earlier in the year and is settling in very well, enjoying daily exercise in thecommunity which is having a positive effect on his physical and mental wellbeing."



Mr Matthew's daughter Catherine said: "He no longer feels trapped in the bedroom.  I don't have to worry about him trying the stairs alone and potentially having an accident He is making great progress in his day-to-day living, even walking a little bit further every day to build up his strength." 


For more information about the Council's Independent Living Services,