It's the New Year - and resolutions come in many shapes and forms - from getting fit, eating well, changing career to perhaps taking the decision as a family to arrange care for a much loved parent or relative. Obviously the latter is where we come in and this blog post is designed to give further insight into who we are, what service we provide and how we can help you.
Our private, family-run agency has been successfully introducing expertly trained carers to ‘live-in’ the homes of our discerning clients across Hampshire since 1994. My mother started the company and still keeps a watchful eye today. The office ladies are very much like one big family. We have a large pool of wonderful carers, all of whom we have personally spent time with, so we can effectively match make them to our clients. We don’t have a flashy computer system, we are more ‘old-school’ using our heads and hearts to provide a common sense, efficient and cost effective service. We are small enough to pay attention to the finer details, yet big enough to provide an exceptional service. We are, in effect a ‘match-making’ agency for people looking to remain living in their own home (rather than move to a care home) and carers looking for people to care for.
Our carers are as diverse as our clients and each has his/her own skill set and preference as to whom they care for and the conditions they most like to support people to live with. We have seen a huge increase in Dementia care over the past few years, as a result we have ensured that all our carers now have training in the condition. We introduce carers to anyone over the age of 18 for a minimum of a week right up to ‘on-going’ care. Literally 100% of our clients tell us that Continuity of carer is the key, hence we have developed the agency to cater for this demand ensuring we have carers willing to work a good number of weeks at a time, rotating with just one or two others throughout a year. We firmly believe this provides the best level of continuity and a calm, familiar pattern of care for those in need. Whether our clients have MS, Parkinson’s, Cerebral Palsy, Spinal/Brain Injury, Alzheimer’s or are just frail and elderly and looking for company, there is a carer to suit everyone. Matched not only on care skills and experience, but hobbies, interests and personalities too our clients are able to choose from a few carefully selected profiles that we present, giving them ultimate choice over who lives in their home and cares for them. Mostly it is the son or daughter of a parent in need of support that contacts us, telling us how important it is for their loved-one to be well-fed, safe, clean and not lonely. This is exactly what our carers do; they prepare nutritious home-cooked meals, ensure personal hygiene is retained through expert personal care, prompt medication and provide companionship. Live-in care is also the perfect way to ensure community links are maintained, such as going to church, coffee mornings, day centres, clubs and societies, even nights in the pub or tea with friends.
When Access Care was established there were few company’s offering ‘live-in care.’ Now there are literally hundreds and it seems more each day. Each operates slightly differently and it’s important to find the one that suits you and your family the best. The only way to do this is to ask questions. Ask what makes them different, why you should engage them, but most of all go with your gut. The biggest challenge to ‘live-in care’ is in educating people as to its existence – we are here and ready to help with the ever growing demand of an aging population. I speak to people almost daily that have not heard of the concept and whom do not know that the option to remain living in your own home with full-time care is available. It is and we are here!
There are two types of enquiry that come into the office; people who phone researching care options for the future and those who phone in a state of crisis and therefore need us urgently. We offer a Rapid Response service whereby we aim to introduce a carer within 24/48 hours. Being sensitive, listening and giving people time to tell you about their personal situation is key; yet we need to be mindful to balance this with efficiency, logic and common sense to find people a cost-effective solution within the time frame they desire.
Attention to detail and encouraging the whole team to ‘go the extra mile’ for both our clients and our carers, I believe stands us apart from our competition. We are unique in our feminine branding, deliberately chosen for its soft and caring connotations and work extra hard to pay attention to the finer details as we want people’s relatives and loved ones to be cared for as we would our own. We will come and visit our clients at home to formally introduce ourselves and develop a professional, bespoke care plan to guide your chosen carers and help ensure all the little things that makes such a big difference are taken care of. This care plan is yours to keep, whether you engage Access Care to find your carers or not.
The concept of arranging care for a parent/relative can seem daunting at first but a good agency should put your mind at rest from the moment you call. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and to tell the agency exactly what you are looking for in a carer. We will manage your expectations by being honest and doing our very best to find you the perfect carer and therefore afford you and your family true peace of mind.
You can call the ladies at Access Care Free on 0800 980 3958 and we’d be only too happy to talk to you, answer questions and even point you in other directions if we believe we are not right for you.
Happy New Year from all my team here.
Tiggy Bradshaw – Managing Director Access Care