As people’s needs grow and change, it’s often thought that there is no alternative to a care home. Rarely is this necessarily the case. We can provide round-the-clock help or short term respite, to enable people to stay living in their home, for as long as they choose, in most cases till the end of their life.
Live-in care generally works by having two of our carers living with a client, working on a rotation basis. Approximately, every two weeks the carers have a thorough handover, which is also attended by our care manager. Loved ones can attend if they wish to. Live-in care means there’s always someone on hand, day and night, but also that there is great continuity in the care provided.
Our carers are recruited with the preferences of our live-in clients in mind. Some clients enjoy companionship and going out. Other clients need someone to be there for peace of mind, for security perhaps to help prevent falls or getting lost. All of our carers are employed by us (they are not self-employed) and they go through vigorous vetting and recruitment checks. We pay our carers properly, with a salary, pension and regular work, so they don’t need to work elsewhere.
Live-in care work is hard work and we believe in proper support. We have experienced other agencies leaving their carers living with clients for months at a time, with no opportunity to see anyone else from the company, colleagues or management. This can be very isolating for the carer and undermining of the relationship on which the care is provided. In our experience this is particularly true if the client has dementia. We spend time with our live-in carers and clients, seeing them at least once a week. We supervise our live-in care staff and where appropriate will bring a team together of reflective practice meetings so that the work and the effect of the work on the carer, can be thought about.
On a practical level, to have a live in carer stay with you, a spare room is required. Internet access, showering and kitchen facilities are also required. Depending on what works for both parties, these can be shared with the client.
"We set up Kingsmith Care’s live-in care service as we wanted to support people in their choice to stay in their own homes. We found it disheartening that, having looked after many of our domiciliary clients so well for years, that when they needed round the clock care, we could not hand on heart recommend going down the care home route."
Since his father died, Peter had been visiting his mother at her home in the early evening. He found that she was becoming increasingly reliant on him for an evening meal and was concerned to find that when he was not able to visit, his mother would have forgotten to eat. As time went by, Peter sometimes was alarmed to discover his mother unwashed and wearing the same clothes he had left her in the previous evening. Having contacted Kingsmith Care, we were able to recommend a visit to the GP who arranged an assessment for Peter’s mother. Peter contacted us several weeks later to let us know that his mother had been diagnosed with dementia. Together we agreed a package of care agency support to make sure his mother was assisted with her personal care, for an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening. We also encouraged Peter to attend the local Alzheimer’s Society support group for relatives of people with dementia.
Charles had been recording his family history for many years. He was aware of a lot of resources on the internet but was not very confident with new technology. Charles’ eyesight was deteriorating and although he had been looking forward to retiring, adjusting to the reality came as a bit of a shock. Charles had seldom used a computer and felt he was too old to learn. Having assessed Charles, Kingsmith Care recruited a member of staff, Josh, with very specific IT skills to work with Charles. Together they were able to progress Charles’ dream and put the work into digital form. Having got to know Charles, Josh was then able to accompany him along to a Genealogy course at a local college and also connected Charles to the local Historical Society, after which Josh was able to withdraw his support. Charles knows that the Kingsmith Care service is here for him should his circumstances change and he needs further support in the future.
Andrew and his father jointly care for Andrew’s mother, Esther who has Dementia. Kingsmith Care had been providing daily personal care to Esther for several years but as time went by, the strain began to tell on Andrew’s relationship with his father. Having talked things through with our Care Manager, Andrew decided to try counselling to help him think things through. Over several months, we were able to prepare a package of intensive care, so that Andrew and his father were able to spend a weekend away, knowing that their mother was in safe hands.
Leonard had always enjoyed his food and been very particular about how it was prepared and served. He had tried a home care service before but had found that small – but to him significant details in how he liked his meals – were often over looked. Having taken the trouble to get to know Leonard, his care worker Angela was able to find out a small but significant detail that Leonard liked his gravy served separately, so he could add as much as he wanted.
Hi, I’m Erenata.
My empathetic nature allows me to really understand people’s needs and simply help them with it. I think clients love how much I listen to them.
I love hearing stories about their life and they enjoy telling me them. I think deep down that’s what everyone really wants, just someone to hear them.
Mrs Cotton’s husband died recently. Mr Cotton had always been the driver in the household. He drove them to the supermarket each week, and they regularly made trips to visit their grandchildren outside London by car as well. Mr Cotton also made sure any repairs around the house were taken care of, and did the heavy work at the allotment he had Mrs Cotton had worked on together over the years.
So Mrs Cotton needed Elderly Care – help with the weekly shopping and odd jobs around the house. Having discussed her situation with us, Mrs Cotton asked us to arrange for one of our care workers to visit her for an hour a day every day. We matched Mrs Cotton up with Julie. During her visits Julie prepared Mrs Cotton’s meals and had a chat, providing the companionship Mrs Cotton needed while she adjusted to the loss of her husband.
Julie also accompanied Mrs Cotton on the first few visits to see her grandchildren while she got used to and getting out and about on her own and making the journey on public transport.
As things settled down and Mrs Cotton felt able to take on more, she felt she needed to see Julie less often. So Julie now drops in just once a week to help her plan the weekly menu, compile the shopping list and accompany Mrs Cotton on a weekly visit to the supermarket.
Mrs Cotton didn’t want to lose the allotment, so Julie also went with Mrs Cotton to a local befriending organisation who were able to find her a companion to help on the allotment.
Mrs Gray lives at the opposite end of the District line to her father, who lives in Hammersmith. He is now in his early 90s. Since the death of his wife, Mrs Gray noticed that her father had started losing weight. When we met with Mrs Gray and her father at his home, we discovered that he had been skipping meals, particularly breakfast, and spending all day in his pyjamas. Mrs Gray’s job means she isn’t able to visit her father at the start of the working day. Together we arranged for respite care – one of our care workers to visit her father in the morning to help him get up and dressed. While John is at the house he also makes sure Mrs Gray’s father eats a healthy breakfast. John also arranged for a nutritionist to visit Mrs Gray’s father to check there were no underlying health problems and to advise him on a balanced diet.
Mrs Gray now has the peace of mind that her father is up and about, ready to meet the day with a full stomach. She also knows that there are others keeping an eye on her father, who will contact her if the need arises. Now when she visits, she and her father can spend time doing things they enjoy together.
Suzanne works in occupational health at Charing Cross Hospital. Before patients are discharged she visits them at home to assess their needs in terms of equipment and ongoing care to make the transition back to independence. Our care worker, Dorothy, was able to work with Suzanne, while her patient, Mr Setchell, was instructed in the use of walking aids and hoists. As Suzanne’s support was being withdrawn, Dorothy, was able to continue providing support for Mr Setchell. She helped him with Domiciliary Care – his walking aids, taking a shower and cooking food for himself in his kitchen.
Drop us a line and we’ll give you our honest, expert advice about how we might be able help