West Park CarE CASE STUDY
Many families face difficulties when their elderly relatives are no longer able to live unsupported in their own homes, including both emotional and financial challenges. This is multiplied when dealing with challenges of their own, as was the case for Event Manager Deborah Rolph and her Uncle Brain Broadbelt (known as Uncle Bill).
Having worked as a supervisor at Dunlop in Harrogate, enjoying many social evenings at Starbeck Working Men’s Club, 87yr old Bill had lived independently all his life in the Starbeck area. Then in January 2019, a fall changed all that, when he broke his hip and suddenly needed care at home.
After over six weeks in hospital, he initially received support from the hospital to return to his home, but having had a number of fall’s before, needed longer term care. His family were faced with the possibility of having to put him in a nursing home, but his preference was to continue living at his council flat in Bilton, having only moved there a couple of years ago.
“It’s the little things like this that make them stand out so much. Popping out for odd bits of shopping and not just leaving a list for us to sort it out. Having his washing ready for me to pick up. Leaving him reminders for taking his tablets and even taking photos of the outside of his house, because he can’t see it.”
His niece Deborah Rolph, explained, “Uncle Bill is happy in his own home and including my three daughters, we have enough family to call in on him, but he reached the point that he needed more help. We did consider a care home, but when he was so happy where he lives, we needed a better solution. We were aware of West Park Care, so asked them to come over and do an assessment in his home. This took place and it took account of all his needs, presenting us with a bespoke package of care, tailored specifically to his personal situation. He now has a carer calling in on him for an hour every morning, two half hour visits during the day, and half an hour again every evening. Once a week they also come to do his cleaning”.
Whilst Bill is mobile with a frame, he has a fear of falling, so that also needed to be factored in by the team at West Park Care with a full disability assessment, Deborah advised, “Having had a number of falls, Uncle Bill now knows to wait for his carer to arrive in the morning, before getting out of bed. They look after him so well, from a full wash and shave, applying creams and sorting his catheter. Discussing what he wants to eat each week and letting him choose from a range of meals from Parsley Box meals. It isn’t just functional care; they genuinely look after him and you can see how happy he is. They even flag up health concerns such as a skin rash he developed last week and liaise with his GP to ensure it was treated. From my own perspective, since being diagnosed with cancer myself earlier this year and being in and out of hospital, I have total faith knowing how well my uncle is being looked after, so I can have time to focus on myself when needed too”.
Bill’s carer Sam Baldwin also commented about the difference in her career since joining West Park Care, “The system’s we have in place enable me to spend quality time with our clients, and really get to know them. Whether it is having the time for a chat, or knowing if someone is ticklish, we’re not rushing to then get to our next client, and I can pace my own day. We have a brilliant system to log each visit vis an App, ensuring that nothing is missed, and the families have access to the very latest information. I have previously worked for four other care companies and this one really is class A in comparison”.
This was backed up by Deborah, who commented just how far the carers are prepared to go, especially when her uncle wanted to stay up to watch the World Cup, “He loves sport of any kind, and knowing the match would not finish until 11pm, the carer set up his tray by his bed, ensuring he could reach everything he needed, and then got him ready for bed before finishing. She then even came back to make sure he was safely in bed. It’s the little things like this that make them stand out so much. Popping out for odd bits of shopping and not just leaving a list for us to sort out. Having his washing ready for me to pick up. Leaving him reminders for taking his tablets and even taking photos of the outside of his house, because he can’t see it. This summer they did help him sit outside as well – which shows the degree of confidence he has in their care too”.
To be greeted by a happy smiling Uncle Bill, introducing Sam as ‘one of his lovely ladies’, it was genuinely inspiring to meet both him and his niece Deborah. Especially when he showed me his framed invitation to Buckingham Palace that he was clearly, and rightly so, very proud of.
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