19
Feb

The true value of home care - a first hand personal account

Lisa Cable Read 268 times

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Pictured: Mr & Mrs Finch with daughter, Jenny Carr, and Jenny’s son, Tommy Carr.

The fantastic benefits of receiving home care, or domiciliary care are often discussed, but perhaps it is only when they are conveyed by those who have directly experienced the service, does the true value of care at home shine through. To understand the impact that receiving exceptional in home care has, we need to understand not only its impact on the client, but also those around them, their friends and their loved ones.

Radfield Home Care Havering and Brentwood has built up strong relationships with their clients and loved ones and is proud to offer a range of care support services to valued clients such as Mr and Mrs Finch Finch- establishing connections that have long lasting impact, where clients feel valued, understood and supported. Mr and Mrs Finch’s daughter, Jenny Carr, offers her wisdom and valuable personal experience below to those seeking home care advice and charts her parents and her own journey with Radfield:

How did you find your home care agency and what was your experience?

We came across Radfield when my Dad was diagnosed with alzheimers. It all happened quite quickly and sadly he went down hill and it soon became apparent that he would need home help with walking. At that time there was only myself and my Mum, who is disabled, to care for him and so we realised early on that we would need extra support. It was actually my Son who picked up a Radfield leaflet at our local town hall and I just phoned straight away. From thereon it was brilliant, they came out to do a home care consultation and we immediately felt reassured, knowing we were in safe hands.

At the beginning we realised that we needed to make some adjustments such as needing to get a single bed and a hoist and Radfield’s care professionals just sorted it out for us. This was brilliant because emotionally going from seeing your Dad as fully functioning to being very confused, was so difficult in itself, and meant taking on lots of other things by yourself can be such a challenge.

The fantastic Radfield carers were with Dad for over 2 years, they always approached things professionally but with compassion, they really wanted the best for him, showing empathy at all times. Everytime I called the office, without exception, they'd always listen and if they couldn’t give me the answer they always called back. I was so impressed with the care given to my Dad and Radfield now cares for my Mum, providing her with needed companionship and personal care. Radfield has always gone above and beyond, they have never rushed us and I’ve never felt as if they were on the clock. We’ve become quite close over the time and it feels like we’re all part of a big team.

How did you recognise you needed extra help at home?

Before we sought extra help from Radfield we had been really struggling to try and provide this by ourselves. Dad had been able to look after us all our life, and we felt guilty that we couldn’t do the same in return. In reality, like so many other families, we knew it just wasn’t possible. Radfield never made me feel like I wasn’t doing enough, they were there right from the start to support me.

We also had a smartphone app so we could read the carers notes. If I wasn’t going everyday I could see exactly what had happened and I felt connected to my Dad’s care. I was still an active participant in his care and was able to know for myself that he was receiving the best support possible - again, helping to alleviate the concerns I had felt about not being able to do this myself.

Radfield provided care for my Dad for over 2 years and by extension that was also care for our entire family. They would always make my Mum a cup of tea when they did the home care visits, they were company for her too and she felt that the pressure had been taken off her.

What led you to explore home care rather than a care home?

We felt strongly that he would want to be at home, and we felt the same. The only way that was possible was to use a specialist care agency and support services as we couldn’t have done it ourselves. It was all about maintaining the familiarity of his community surroundings around him and the presence of his loved ones, I do think he would have gone downhill much quicker without this. It would have thrown him completely to go into a residential care home.

We never really had a conversation with Dad as to what his preference would be as we weren’t able to do this, however I feel like we absolutely made the right choice. Radfield was able to shape and adapt care to his needs throughout our time together, I know he had the personal care that he needed at all times.

As a loved one how has home care benefited you personally?

Right from the start they took over the practical things, I just didn’t have the experience and it had been very much on me to try and determine what the correct thing to do was. I relied heavily on Radfield at the start but they were there to help me. The carers had the knowledge and I was immediately reassured. The amount of time they spent talking to me, and doing stuff for me when it was too much, was just fantastic. They knew when to step in and always asked my permission first. They set the care package up for us and we regularly reviewed it until we got the optimum for my Dad, we were constantly adapting things. Radfield at times was also able to say we can reduce this or that, they were always honest, they looked at the person and the family to work out what was best for us.

At one point we had a big holiday planned and Radfield was able to put in extra care to cover when I was away, giving me the time to focus on aspects of my own life without feeling guilty. I felt confident that they would deal with whatever happened and the situation, I trusted them to do whatever was needed.

When my Dad was receiving end of life care, I just couldn’t praise them enough and I will be forever grateful for that time. The care professionals took it in time to sleep overnight with Dad so I could go home and get some rest. They stayed over with me sometimes as they didn’t want me to be on my own, particularly Radfield Home Care Havering and Brentwood’s director, Lisa Cable. They always put themselves out, one night in particular the care professionals arrived and my Dad was really quite poorly and they were constantly coming in to bring me treats to help the situation. It actually made it easier for me, I wouldn't have felt supported otherwise, I never felt alone.

Is there any advice you would give to people looking for home care?

From my own experience of home care I would suggest having a think about the following, whether you are looking for home care or are currently receiving it:

  • Always try and get reviews from friends and relatives about what their own experience of care has been.

  • Researching reviews on sites such as www.homecare.co.uk are very important.

  • Ask yourself whether you feel supported as a family member?

  • Do your loved ones appear happy and content with the care being provided?

  • Does your loved one feel they are understood, valued and supported by their home care provider?

  • Do they treat your loved one with dignity, especially with personal care?

  • How do they deal with any challenges that may appear in the day, is it with compassion?

  • How flexible are they and willing to change the care requirements?

  • How often do they review the care package?

  • How easy are they to communicate with and do they say what they are going to do? Do they respond quickly? Do you know who to contact with any queries?

Would you recommend Radfield?

100% and more than that! I’ve already referred people, a lot of my friends are now experiencing similar situations. I have to say that they were brilliant all the time with Dad, and are now offering just the same exceptional quality of care to my Mum. I just feel Radfield has gone over what they need to do, they just do so much more. They have supported my Dad, my Mom and myself throughout and always knew what to do and for that I am very grateful. During the darkest time, they were there to guide me and having that experience on hand to guide you is invaluable. We think so highly of Radfield - it’s the compassion and companionship they offer, they take the time to get to know you as a client and as a family. I felt so strongly I wrote the following review on homecare.co.uk, the UK’s leading online review website for home care services, so that potential clients would benefit from Radfield’s care too:



“I just wanted to write to say it was the best thing we ever did in using Radfield Homecare. Everyone we have had dealings with in this company has been so helpful and caring. They have gone beyond what was expected of them and have helped us through a difficult period of adjustment and have organised other professionals to get the best possible care for my dad. I can’t recommend them highly enough and would have no qualms about recommending them to others. Thank you very much for all you have done for us - Jenny C, Daughter of client.”



If you would like to find out more about Radfield Home Care jobs and how you can join the team, you can visit www.radfieldhomecare.co.uk or contact the office directly havering@radfieldhomecare.co.uk or 01708 609 364.


 

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