Address HIGHLAND HOME CARERS, 1ST FLOOR, 3 STADIUM ROAD, INVERNESS IV1 1FF, Scotland, UK
“For example, if someone has had an operation and would benefit from some assistance for a week or two then we can help.
“Or if an elderly person has temporary ill health and needs some additional support until they feel better again, this option would save them a hospital stay.
“Often we find that once someone goes into hospital they lose a little bit of their confidence on returning home, because everything has been done for them.
“Helping them to stay at home (unless hospital is essential) enables them to make their own decisions, and to be less daunted by the whole experience. Individual choice is very important.”
The success of Highland Home Carers is partly attributed to the fact that it is owned by its employees.
When Nick Boyle (founder) stepped down, he chose to sell it to his own staff- confident in their ability and motivation to deliver a bespoke service, and make the model a success.
In addition to keeping the staff motivated, Mr Pennington said there are many advantages of employee ownership: “Our team is committed to delivering a very high standard of care, and when each member of staff is also a representative of what the company stands for, it brings real pride.
“We believe in listening to and responding to our service users and their families.
“We undertake an annual social accounting exercise where we consult with all our service users, employees and partner agencies.
“This report is independently audited, which means that we are then accountable for making any recommended improvements.
“It gives us a new target to achieve and rewards us for the work well done.”
Mr Pennington is also keen to ensure that service users consider their options early, so that they have the confidence they need to live safely at home.
He’s actively encouraging families and businesses who deal with elderly or vulnerable people to explore what’s available so that care at home is viable, and not a case of too little, too late.
He said: “Families living remotely to their loved ones who need support can have real peace of mind if they investigate options with their parents or siblings early on.
“We recognise that it can be a difficult conversation to start, but having an hour or so of help a week initially that increases to match demand is a very sensible option.
“Often there is a hesitancy to broach the subject of care at home, which can mean that individuals are left with their only option being to move to a residential home if they have fallen or seriously injured themselves and lost all confidence.
“A little bit of help and contact often keeps morale high, and gives relatives much-needed respite so that they can spend quality time with loved ones, without feeling obliged to take care of jobs around the house or prepare evening meals and so on.
“Also, care is not just for older people with extreme difficulties. If you live alone (or don’t have an immediate support system) and are having particular difficulties, a carer could help you with domestic chores, and assist you through rehabilitation.
“Short-term care is available; there is no need to struggle. A more strengthened and supportive approach to recovery often ensures that other problems do not arise.
“We don’t believe in taking power away from our service users – we believe in assisting them with their day- to-day life and making it meaningful.”
HHC is committed to sharing ideas with communities in the Highlands and supporting them in developing new or innovative care systems. This could include providing basic advice about what communities can do to support vulnerable members at home.
If the demand is there, HHC would organise some mini events in different areas to present care options, to talk about supportive practice, to answer questions as well as advise what Highland Home Carers itself provides. Businesses or local groups who are interested should get in touch, HHC fundamentally believes that care is best provided at home and in communities.
Top indicators that you might benefit from some assistance at home:
- Your family worries about you being alone
- You feel less secure
- You have problems with day-to-day chores
- You feel shaky or are more to spilling or dropping things
- You have to use furniture to support you as you move around
- Personal care
- Domestic assistance
- General assistance
- Live-in care
- Housing support
- Support work
- 24-hour care service
For more information about Highland Home Carers log on to www.highland-home-carers.co.uk , call 01463 241 196 or e-mail enqu…@highlandhomecarers.co.ukAs you visit ‘Highland Home Carers’, you may find interest in following listings . . .