BLOG How an hour of homecare can strengthen family bonds and transform your life as well as Mum’s

Published: 06/09/2016

It’s September and a time of year our phones get particularly busy. After the summer break, it’s back to school for our kids but not always back to normal for our parents. If you're wondering how to find the time and energy to give a loved one the care they deserve, we can help. 

It’s September and a time of year our phones get particularly busy. After the summer break, it’s back to school for our kids but not always back to normal for our parents.
Over the holidays, many families spend more time together. Very often this is when they realise Mum isn’t coping as well as she used to. She might be less mobile. Her memory may be starting to let her down. She seems to be struggling with everyday tasks.
It’s become obvious Mum needs more help
This is where the guilt kicks in. This is our Mum. We love her dearly and she’s looked after us our whole lives. Now it’s our turn to look after her. We tell ourselves we are the only people who will look after her properly and we’ll just have to find the time and energy to do so - along with all our other commitments. The thought of it is exhausting.
Perhaps we know Mum wouldn’t accept outside help anyway so the idea couldn’t even get off the ground. She’s too proud and independent to admit she needs help. She’ll see it as the first step on a slippery slope. And she won’t want a stranger in the house. You hear so many awful stories. How on earth can you trust someone outside the family?
We’ve listened to these understandable concerns many times. We fully appreciate them. I felt exactly the same myself when my parents were ill and wanted to stay at home. Sure enough, I didn’t feel the council care they received at home was good enough. In fact, that’s the reason I started Bluebird Care Trafford in the first place.
Getting help means people live better for longer
One thing I’ve learned is that getting the right support earlier rather than later makes a very significant difference to a person’s long-term health and wellbeing. Getting help is, in fact, far from a retrograde step. It helps people retain their independence for longer and do the things they enjoy for longer. It also has a bearing on the long-term outcome of many diseases including dementia. Here, the right care from early on makes a world of difference.
The problem won’t go away
There’s another important reason to act now. Ignoring problems and struggling on leaves everyone vulnerable. Situations can escalate very quickly without warning leaving no time to make informed choices or introduce gradual changes. Everyone’s stress is suddenly off the scale.
So what’s the next step given Mum doesn’t want homecare?
First and foremost, our care doesn’t have to look or feel like homecare. It’s perfectly possible to introduce skilled support simply by opting for a few hours’ extra help in the house.
If Mum isn’t as nimble with the cleaning, for example, one of our Care Assistants can step in. People of all ages have cleaners so Mum is no different. The crucial point is that you’re giving your loved one the chance to embark on homecare that may make a huge difference to her life in the longer term. And without the need for disruption or a ‘big’ conversation.
Uniform or no uniform. It’s your choice
Our Care Assistants usually wear uniforms but they don’t if our customers prefer them not to. Sometimes families introduce a carer as a friend rather than a carer to make the step more palatable. Whatever you choose to do, we’ll handle introductions very carefully so that your loved one is totally happy and comfortable with the help they receive.
It’s interesting how quickly customers’ resistance to care turns into enthusiasm. When a customer has got to know a Care Assistant, they often tell us how much they love them and look forward to their visits.
Mum might not admit she’s lonely
A friendly face and some conversation also provide much needed company for people who spend most of their time home alone. Many older people don’t tell their families they’re lonely. To admit to loneliness can feel like a loss of face or a slight to a loving family. But loneliness is an epidemic in our older people and heavily impacts their health and happiness. It can be an issue even in strong families who do their best to give their time.
Scaling up in the future
Looking to the future is important if you want the best for your loved ones. Making the right choice now can also make life much easier and happier in the longer term.
If Mum’s situation develops and she needs more care, our team can simply scale up the help they give and bring more of their expert skills into play. There’s no need for any drama or anxiety. Mum will see the same familiar faces. They’ll simply be around more to take care of tasks it might be difficult for close family to do.
Personal care is often best done by professionals
In the case of personal care, for example, a parent is often much more comfortable if a professional carer helps rather than her own children. The traditional parent and child relationship is maintained and Mum’s dignity and self-respect is safeguarded.
Helping Mum live a better life for longer
By starting with just an hour or two of care for Mum each week, you have everything in place to ensure she lives happily and safely in her own home for as long as she wants to – till the end of her life if she chooses.
Should the need arise in the long term, our expert Live-In Care Assistants offer a real alternative to a care home. Rather than give up the home she loves, Mum can have one-to-one care and companionship in her own home.
Our customers never have to face life in a care home
Live-in care beats care home care hands down. Moving into a care home is described as being like a bereavement with people mourning the loss of familiar surroundings that mean so much to them. The regimented life of a care institution takes little heed of a person’s uniqueness. Meal times are set, bedtimes are set. One day runs into another as hard-pressed staff struggle to complete the daily round of tasks and oversee large numbers of residents. No wonder so many of us dread having to go into one of these places.
With our unique live-in care, the scene is very different. Our customers live better lives for longer. They choose a Live-In Care Assistant with whom they have a great rapport. These carers often become one of the family. They ensure our customers live varied and interesting lives and maintain as much of their independence and activities as possible.
Our team is trained in the very latest therapeutic techniques to increase well-being and slow down  progressive diseases like dementia. We often hear families tell us ‘Mum has come back to life!’ Professional homecare makes a vast difference to the quality and quantity of days our customers enjoy.
How we choose our carers
Only 1 person out of 10 applicants becomes a Bluebird Care Trafford Care Assistant. We only choose people we have total trust in. We insist on only employing people who look after our customers as well as they look after their own family.
Every carer is thoroughly investigated with police checks and multiple references. They start our lengthy selection process with a psychometric personality test proven to give us a real insight into how they tick.
Then they face one to one interviews with our care management team. If all goes well, they’ll embark on an initial training period allowing us to learn more about them. It’s only when they’ve passed each stage of the process with flying colours that we ask them to become a permanently employed member of our care team.
Total trust is essential
From this point they progress to our full intensive, classroom-based training course. On successful completion of this, they go out into the field to shadow our experienced carers for a lengthy period of probation when their performance is assesse very carefully..
From this point they are fully fledged Bluebird Care Trafford Care Assistants. And even when they complete their probation successfully, they receive ongoing supervision and support as well as continual training to refresh, update and expand their skills.
Call us for a chat
It’s not easy to pick up the phone and ask about homecare for a loved one. We understand the emotions families go through when they’re trying to work out ‘the right thing to do’.
Call us on 0161 928 7151. We’ll be happy to listen to your story and answer your questions. If we can help, we’ll tell you. Everything you say to us is strictly confidential and absolutely without obligation.
If you do have a relative who’s struggling, I’d urge you to take action sooner rather than later. We hear from customers every day who say, ‘The burden has been lifted. I’m not anxious all the time any more. Best of all, Mum is thriving and the whole family is much happier.’
You can’t do more for the people you love.
Ian Helsby
Owner, Bluebird Care Trafford.