Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Do you need help with home care?

home care, care, carer, elderly, health
What's the best solution to caring for a relative?
Last week the Office for National Statistics announced that a record number of people in the UK are surviving to the age of 100. While it's great news that we are living longer - and potentially - healthier lives - this leaves us with one major problem. How will we care for our older generations?

Typically just as your children begin to grow up and need less physical care, your parents become more reliant on you - be that because they have mobility issues, chronic illnesses or are just lonely with less of a social network around them than when they were younger, particularly if they have lost a life-long partner. However, you might live too far away to make regular visits, or feel overwhelmed with their care needs alongside your other responsibilities as a parent, partner and/or employee. If you have siblings and other relatives you might struggle to find a way for you all to contribute to the emotional and practical demands caring, and that alone can cause added frustrations. You might have already chosen to opt for your relative to live with - or close to you - but now find you cannot cope with their needs. So, what's the best solution when caring for a sick or elderly family member in a home environment?
The simple answer is of course to find a professional who can cope with the individual needs of your loved one. Someone you can rely on to be there regularly - and someone you can trust to look after your relative properly. But in practice this can be a minefield. Sadly, we're used to stories of low standards of care - both private and state-funded - and even cases of actual abuse. How can you ensure you're doing the best you can for someone you love?

home care, care, carer, elderly, health
Carers - and care - that is valued

The Vida difference

This sort of dilemma was exactly what motivated Devika Wood to set up London at-home care agency Vida. From the age of 10, Devika lived with, and cared for, her grandmother Sita. Sita lived with dementia and epilepsy and over twelve years received more than one hundred and fifty different carers, sent to her home by social services. Having experienced such poor care first hand, co-founder and Chief Medical Officer, Devika has made it her personal mission to improve the care industry by adopting a clinical approach to care, and by empowering carers and clients. It's what the company refers to as 'The Vida Difference'. 

So exactly what is different about Vida? To start with, a major part of their business plan is that the carers that work for Vida know they are properly valued. The company invests in its carers both financially and educationally, providing them with additional training (they undergo twice the amount of training as the majority of carers in the industry) and paying them at a rate significantly above market average. Vida even takes less commission from its employees than other care providers (care is charged at £15 an hour, the carer receives £11.50 of that), to ensure that those that work at Vida feel valued and are happy, which the company believes directly translates into better care for your loved ones.

This is personal

home care, care, carer, elderly, health
A range of services with a personal touch

With this approach to its staff, it's not surprising that carers want to work for Vida! This works to your advantage as Vida is able to hire from just the top five per cent of applicants for its positions, and uses a robust six-stage recruitment process. As well as on-going training and support Vida, first aid trains all its carers, and has them shadow lead carers with 15-25 years of experience too. 

Vida also focuses on personalising care - and its care assessors match the needs of the individual being cared for with someone that has experience in exactly that health issue.  Customer services staff keep a check that clients and carers have everything they need too - throughout the entire care journey. The company aims to take a personal approach and build relationships, because those at the helm of the company realise that a carer comes into not just your home, but also your life. In fact, the founders want both carers and clients to feel like part of the Vida family!

Vida can help with regular, post-op or respite care and live-in and disabilities care. It also offers services such as help with staying active, personal care, companionship, meal prep, housing keeping, taking medication and transportation.  And perhaps the best news is that a care assessment with one of Vida's senior care managers is absolutely free, as is the first five hours of care. You have nothing to lose - and lots to gain by giving them a call on 020 3653 0321. 

This post was written in collaboration with Vida.