We came into this through circumstance. In 2013 my stepfather passed away suddenly whilst living in Spain leaving my Mum alone suffering with Vascular dementia. We brought her home and just managed to cope with me juggling my Senior Operations post with DWP and my partner giving up his job to look after mum for the first year. We found that getting any help was an absolute minefield.
When we initially received some help for an hour or two for our respite, we found it was almost worse than having no help at all, as Mum was resentful if she knew carers were coming and angry once they had left. We struggled and eventually, against our better nature, we accepted residential care for Mum. Due to the fact that she was extremely mobile and independently minded this was not a success. We found the levels of care and provision for dementia and any individuality were sadly lacking. By this time we had developed a good relationship with the Memory Service , Social Services and our GP and eventually were able to arrange for 24 hour care in our home.
We were allocated a specific care company and modified our life and home to accommodate Mum and the carers with whom we would be living for the foreseeable future. Individually we found the majority of the carers were absolutely lovely, they tried their best to fit in their duties around our family life, which includes five dogs, one cat and the normal problems that that entails. Obviously we accepted a certain intrusion into our privacy, but Mum was at home, cared for and happier and this was our end goal.
Unfortunately we found the company were unreliable and some of the carers, totally unsuitable and without relevant training, regularly put under impossible strain and asked to work far longer than is acceptable. They were often left with no back-up in difficult situations and having settled into a routine we were sometimes allocated new carers at a moment’s notice. The situation became so intolerable that we eventually applied for a direct payment from the Local Authority. This involved a large amount of work, finding staff we trusted who, loyal to us, left the care company and came to work for us. We set up a company, opening a business account, investigating and implementing insurances, tax liabilities, CQC compliance and a myriad other things.
We now have control over our loved ones care, and although sometimes very challenging, this team really know and understand Mum and therefore deal with all difficult situations. They care for Mum when no-one else was prepared or were able to do so. We are sure we have done the right thing.
With the expertise in dementia care we and our dedicated Team have gained from the situation we found ourselves in, we now feel able to offer our assistance to other people with similar issues:
- We spent nearly a year trying to get help, and any funding. We believe we can help speed that process up for you.
- We struggled to find a suitable care home for our relative, if that is appropriate, we can help you with that.
- We were provided with a care company that ultimately we were not happy with, we can help you to change things that don’t work for you.
- We aim to offer a bespoke service to our clients, this will be totally dependent on yourselves, you can take as much or as little as you desire, but our over-riding ethos will be to keep extremely vulnerable people in the homes they love for as long as is possible.