Fiona Leckerman looks at the companies who are offering precious independence on home turf…hand

Choosing the right homecare for a loved one can come at a very sensitive and difficult time for a family. Accepting that a person needs help from an outside source to live their everyday life can be traumatic, particularly when you are battling with emotions and a loved one’s sudden lack of independence, be it through old age or physical or mental illness.

Despite the difficulties employing care can alter life irrevocably for everyone, taking the standard of living from bearable to enjoyable. But, where does one start and with whom as the newspapers and internet are full of adverts from care providers that are an unknown entity?

Talking to people and getting recommendations is the obvious route and promptly reveals experts such as Amelia Homecare who cater for the Jewish community and pride themselves on being very knowledgeable about our way of life. With ‘respectful, caring and patient’ as their mantra, Amelia Homecare spends time talking to each client and understanding what the family are like, thereby matching the right carer to the right family.

Amelia caters for clients with dementia and Alzheimer’s. Emma Crossick, who handles Amelia’s marketing, explained, “Each carer is CRB checked, referenced, verified and interviewed, our carer’s are fully trained at dealing with not only aggressive but confused clients. They are fully trained in first aid too.” Amelia also provide carers who offer companionship to those that have suffered the loss of a partner or loved one, popping in everyday for a chat or even cinema outings.

Crossick says: “With part time care they can nip in a few times per week to help with cooking, cleaning, personal washing and dressing, which really makes a difference.” With palliative care the carers are present 24/7 and make the client as comfortable as possible and fully understand how to administer medicine.

Disabled care is also an area Amelia can provide assistance, as the elderly get more infirm the carers help with wheel chairs and walking. It is not just the elderly that Amelia supply for, but also disabled children, for whom they can supply an array of full and part time housekeepers, some who live in and others outside.

Amelia extends many forms of home help to North West London, Brent and Hertfordshire and will tailor a plan that is suitable for your circumstances, Emma Crossick affirms, “They take into consideration your personal financial position and negotiate the best package to meet your needs, seeking to offer affordable care.”

Another recommended organisation is Skillcare, a domiciliary care company that also look after the terminally ill, those with short and long term illnesses and dementia. Based in Barnet, they can offer daily personal care, medication prompting, cooking, bathing and dressing to help attending hospital and GP appointments; even companionship to the theatre and cinema. “Skillcare try to provide and encourage nutrition and wellness,” says company director Denise Forbes. “Our largest service group are dementia sufferers but there has been an increase in stroke service users too.”

An ex-personal trainer Forbes utilises her past expertise to help in the care field. She says, “We are invested in rehabilitating and aim to get as much function back as possible through physiotherapy and sports therapy.” Skillcare runs a network that offers options for family members to receive support too, launching quarterly relative event days and evenings to help answer troubling questions. “We give advice and different strategies for coping, as well as financial advice,” adds Denise.

Rita Craig care manager from Home Care Connection based in Hendon is just as confident about the service they have offering Jewish clients for over 15 years, these have included Holocaust survivors and those referred via Jewish Care. Fully regulated by the CQC, they are a provider and not an agency. Carers are under the supervision of the care manager and receive direction regularly. They are vetted, CRB checked have at least 3 to 4 years experience and have from a level 2 up to a level 5 in care.

The company’s aim is to enable the elderly and infirm to remain safe in their homes as long as possible rather than go into institutional care. In returning one elderly lady to her own home, after a stay in hospital, one carer reflected “To see how happy she was to sit in her own chair, in her own house and the smile that lit up her face, made what we do so special.” Craig explained that through an assessment of each client’s needs and personal circumstances they will give them the best advice possible. “The cost depends on the care needs,” says Craig.

“Once we take the clients on, we keep them. Very seldom do we say we cannot provide a service.” The warmth of Home Care Connection is evident by the way Rita talked about how they pick their carer’s. She explained, “You can teach anybody how to do a job, but you can’t teach people how to care. We choose people who care and train them in everything else.”