Celebrating Homecare Day Wednesday 22nd September 2021

Time for care

Celebrating Homecare Day 2021 (Wednesday 22nd September)

A Homecare Day story about Bee (a wonderful lady we support at home) and Lottie, our home carer. They both have a remarkable bond and heartwarming story to share for this year's Celebrate Homecare Day.

There has been so much in media recently about social care.  Some of which has made for grim watching or reading.  The continued negative press that social care receives is a crying shame as we see day in, day out the amazing work that home carers do to keep the most vulnerable people in our communities not only living well, but thriving and living an active life.  To mark Celebrating Homecare Day we asked our teams to share with us their homecare recognition stories and this one about Bee and Lottie not only warms the heart but reminds everyone why homecare is vital to our communities.  We need to hear more of this in the media!

Words from Lottie this Homecare Day

“Homecare not only allows our clients to remain independent in their own homes, but it also enables person-centred care and empowers choice and freedom. Supported where necessary, people we support are encouraged to carry out as much of their daily activities themselves as possible, helping them to maintain functional abilities and mobility therefore helping them to live longer. The provision of homecare means people can stay in an environment where they feel comfortable and safe, surrounded by all their belongings with all the special memories and stories with them.

Homecare allows people to remain integrated within the community. Being part of a community is an essential component to an individual’s purpose and sense of belonging, contributing towards good mental and cognitive health. By remaining in their own community, our clients are able to keep an active role, whilst also having the added benefit of neighbours, friends, family and other networks for support.

For many of our service users, especially during the pandemic, we are the only people they will see on a day-to-day basis. Sometimes this is from week to week. Before you even consider any of the cleaning or personal care tasks we carry out, having a healthy routine, consistency and even just a familiar face can really make the difference to a person’s day.

As a home carer, that feeling of knowing you are making someone’s day is second to none. It makes any of the less attractive tasks all worth it! The one-on-one time we get to have with our service users means we are able to form the most amazing relationships and bonds with them. I’ve learnt so much about the amazing lives our lovely service users have lived. They are far far more than any of their conditions or struggles!

Having said this, I have made a couple of particularly special bonds over the years. One of those is with our lovely Bee. Bee is one of the most interesting, creative, humorous, kind and understanding people I’ve had the pleasure of meeting. In fact, I think really, I’ve probably learnt far more from her than I’ve ever done for her. After sharing moments of my life with Bee over the last five years and the impact Bee has on my life, if felt only right to invite her to my upcoming wedding!

No visit with Bee is complete without tears of laughter. Whether it’s from getting my hair caught in many of her hanging ornaments or repeated incidences of getting turtleneck jumpers stuck around her head and false teeth popping out! – This one particular time Bee and I were laughing so hard I had to leave her momentarily with her head half in and half out of a jumper because I’d laughed so hard I needed to go to the toilet! Bee is quite the prankster as well. Her cat, rather unfortunately, once bought in a couple of frogs and Bee found them dead in one of her drawers. Instead of throwing them away she laid them out ready for me to see next to her leg cream, knowing that they would give me a terrible fright! Never a dull moment.

Bee's prank

Moments like these wouldn’t be so fun and light-hearted if a trusting relationship wasn’t had. This is so important within home care. It makes for better outcomes with our clients. Subsequently, they are more likely to tell us when they are not feeling well or express their worries. We are also more likely to notice any signs of deterioration. When you care for someone and see them several times a day, really getting to know them, it’s hard not to form an attachment for them and want to do all you can for them. There are many times when I’ve gone out of my way to ensure Bee has all her medication, is given the right medical care she needs (many frank conversations have been had with other suppliers on the phone!), and has any extra time to do the things that are special to her. Quite frequently Bee awaits my arrival to help her with an iPad technical problem! I think she thinks I’m a whiz kid with technology, but little does she know I’m far from advanced and send all my problems to my partner!

I will always take my time to explain things to Bee that she doesn’t understand, even if this means researching it myself. This goes such a long way in providing reassurance and comfort.

             Bee Says…..

“I love Lottie, she explains things to me and her input and knowledge is very helpful, I don’t know what I’d do without her. I have even called the office before to ask where she is and when she’s coming back. She’s my ears, my eyes and my fingers as well”.

At times my advice hasn’t been the best. I once suggested Bee try adding squash into her diet and arrived to see a knife and a giant squash sitting on the kitchen work top ready for me to hack. It took me 20 minutes to get through this but at least Bee wasn’t missing any fingers! All jokes aside, it means so much to me that I can make such an impact to someone’s life. Sorting out all the things she can’t quite manage so that its easier during the day, Bee said without homecare she wouldn’t be able to get all that she gets done, including cooking her very lovely lunches every day and being able to paint. All things that Bee has always enjoyed doing and gets to continue to do in her own home.” (Lottie Fletcher-Gallop), Home carer and all round superstar!