Time to Care – Two stories, two very different outcomes

Text Box: Time to care

Story 1

There was a knock on the door, Sarah heard the key turn and then the familiar voice from the hallway “Hello Sarah, it’s only me”. 

“Hello love, I’m still in bed”.

Elena shouted up to her “That’s okay Sarah, no point in rushing on a day like this, awful out there. I’ll just take my coat off and put the kettle on. Do you want tea?

“Yes please, I’m parched this morning”.

Sarah could hear Elena in the kitchen.  She really didn’t feel like getting up today but knew she’d feel better once she was up and dressed.  Recalling the dream she’d been having before she woke up, it had been about Jack, her late husband.  He often came into her dreams, it was becoming a bit of a habit. “He doesn’t want to leave me, bless him”, she thought as she smiled. She really did miss him.  The emptiness that was there was so complete, sometimes she couldn’t even comprehend how huge that feeling was. 

Elena knocked softly on the door, “Am I okay to come in?  Cup of tea here for you”. 

“Oh that’s lovely… thank you, you’re a darling”.

“I’ll pop this down here for you and let you enjoy it. I’ll go and get the bathroom ready for you, then we can have a chat”.

Elena went and got the towels and flannels she knew Sarah liked ready, then went back to Sarah and sat on the chair next to her bed.  “Did you sleep well?” Elena asked. 

“On and off as usual. You know what it’s like, had to get up a couple of times.  Frank came to me again, bless him. He was telling me he wanted steak for dinner.  I thought “steak for dinner”, when did we ever have steak for dinner!  Sarah laughed a sad laugh.  “It’s lovely to hear his voice but I wake up and it hits me so hard”.

Reflective silence filled the room.  Elena was the first to break it. She said softly “You okay?”. 

Elena reached for Sarah’s hand.  “You had a good husband Sarah”. 

Sarah smiled “He was that”.

“Yes love….. I need to get up otherwise I’ll be in this bed all day!” 

“Everything’s ready for you. What clothes would you like to wear?”  Elena moved towards the wardrobe and opened it so Sarah could see. “What colour do you feel like today?”  Elena knew Sarah really liked colours. Sarah used to own a fashion design company and had a real eye for what colours worked.

“I think I’d like green today Elena, that nice deep green cashmere jumper, it’s lovely and warm. With my charcoal grey trousers.”

“How are your legs this morning”? Elena asked. 

“I think they’re okay, if you pass me my walking stick, I think I can manage. I don’t want my frame. I’m trying to do without it if I can”.

“Here you go Sarah”.  Elena passed the walking stick to her.

Elena watched her to make sure she was steady on her feet. She then walked into the bathroom and started to run warm water into the wash basin.  She added a bit of the soap that she knew Sarah liked.

Sarah came in and sat down on the chair.

“The waters warmed up now Sarah and your flannels and towel are there ready for you. Do you need me to do anything?

“Thanks love, no I can manage”.

“Okay. I’ll go and see to your breakfast and make a pot of tea.  What do you fancy?”

“Just some fruit and yoghurt I think”.

Elena left Sarah.  Sarah enjoyed this time in the morning, the lovely warm flannel on her face made her feel refreshed. The quietness of the room but also knowing there was someone in the house with her was really comforting.

Sarah had been reluctant to even consider a care service.  She had fallen a couple of months previously and it had shaken her up.  Her daughter Fiona had sought advice from an independent care consultancy who had provided information on what benefits her Mum may be entitled to, how the social care system worked and the names of local providers who delivered quality care.  This is when the lovely Jacinda from Care Hearts came into their lives. She could not have made Sarah feel more at ease.  The questions she asked felt like they really wanted to know what she wanted out of a care service. There was nothing rushed in her approach.  The detail that she had noted in the follow up letter outlining what the service would look like, was amazing.   She had written down her preferences on everything from the type of person she wanted at specific times of day (Sarah liked a slow-paced morning and didn’t want to be rushed) to how she liked her tea and toast.  Between Sarah and her daughter, they were able to budget for the care she needed, which led to her paying privately for 20% of her care.  The other 80% was funded through social services, via a number of benefits, she was entitled to.

Jacinda had organised a monthly care package of 14 hours a week.  A team of professional care companions came for two visits a day, but she also had access to the office team if she needed anything such as shopping or prescriptions picking up.  It was all included in the monthly fee.  Elena was there in the morning during the week. Young Nick came in the morning at the weekend, he had a gentle, kind manner but also had a dry wit about him. Nick was training to be an occupational therapist.  He reminded her of her Grandson. He made her laugh with his story telling. He was very funny.  She liked having a young person in her house. Either Samantha or Jane came at dinnertime. Samantha used to be beautician and sometimes did Sarah’s nails and hair for her during her visits.  Like Sarah, Jane enjoyed crosswords, so they often did those together after dinner.  Sarah enjoyed their company and she felt they were her support team.  If ever any one of them was off, one of the others would cover.

After finishing her wash, Sarah walked back to her bedroom. 

Elena came upstairs again “Shall I help you get dressed?”

“Yes, please”

Elena helped Sarah to get dressed. When she was ready, they made their way downstairs. Sarah was glad of the rails but also the fact the Elena was there if she needed support.

Once they were in the kitchen Sarah sat down to eat her breakfast and they both had another cup of tea from the pot. 

Elena opened-up the magazine she’d brought to show Sarah.  There was a new season clothing launch from M & S.

They chatted for a while talking all things fashion. Sarah spoke about her time in Milan and the fun she’d had. Elena really enjoyed listening to these stories.  Once Sarah had finished her breakfast, Elena cleaned and tidied up. 

“I’ll go and catch-up with the news I think”. Sarah said and moved into the living room to put the TV on. 

Elena finished what she was doing, then joined Sarah. “Is there anything else I can do for you?”

“No thanks love, you get off.  I’ll see you tomorrow, it’s Tuesday isn’t it”.

“Yes, that’s right. Samantha’s with you this evening. I’ll get my coat”. 

Samantha walked back into the room.  “See you tomorrow then, take care Sarah, stay warm”.

“Oh, I will.  Bye love”.

Questions: 

  • How would you feel if you were Sarah? 
  • What would it be like to work for this company?
  • What stories do you think are being told about people’s experience with this company?
  • What referrals would you gain from this type of client?

Story 2

There was a knock on the door, Sarah heard the key turn and then a familiar voice from the landing “Hello Sarah, it’s Beth, I’m coming up”. 

Sarah sighed “Ok”. She wasn’t that keen on Beth, she was a bit loud and talked a lot.

She really didn’t feel like getting up today and certainly didn’t feel like company.  Recalling the dream she’d been having before she woke her up. It had been about Jack, her late husband.  He often came into her dreams, it was becoming a bit of a habit. “He doesn’t want to leave me, bless him”. She really did missed him terribly.  The emptiness that was there was so complete, sometimes she couldn’t even comprehend how huge that feeling was. 

Beth knocked on the door, “I’m coming in now. Right let’s get you up and about shall we”.

Beth opened the wardrobe doors.  “What have we got for you in here?  I think this will be good for you today it’s a bit cold.”  She selected some clothes for Sarah to wear.  “Are these okay?”

Sarah used to own a fashion design company and had a real eye for what colours worked but Beth wasn’t really interested in fashion.  “I’d rather have the green cashmere jumper, with my grey trousers please.”

“Okay. I think it’s best if I help you to the bathroom, I haven’t got much time today. I’ve got another call straight after here and they’ve only given me 10 minutes to get there. It will take at least 20 minutes with the traffic.  I don’t know where they get their timings from, but someone really needs to look at it.  I get all stressed when they do this to me.  I blame the management, they have no idea what it’s like to do what we do”.  Beth assisted Sarah into the bathroom and sat her down on the chair

Beth turned the taps on and put the soap in.  She put one of the clean flannels in the warm water and passed it to Sarah “Here you go?”

“I’ll go and see to your breakfast and make a pot of tea.  Shall I make you some toast?”

“No thanks I’m not hungry”.

Sarah didn’t want toast, she really fancied some fruit and yoghurt but she thought she would wait until after Beth had gone.  She never made it as she liked it.

Sarah had been really reluctant to even consider a care service.  She had fallen a couple of months previously and it had shaken her up.  She didn’t want to go in a care home though, she wanted to stay in her own home with her memories.  Her district nurse had given her a list of providers who could help her in and out of bed and made sure she had an evening meal prepared.  They provided two 30 minutes calls a day that were paid for by the council.  The care manager, Helen, had come to talk to her about the service. She did say that all carers would be introduced to her before a visit but there have been at least 3 occasions when that hadn’t happened.  One of the carers was nice but she was always getting into trouble for staying too long.  “At least I’ve got some support and I know someone is coming in the morning to get me up” Sarah thought.

Beth came back into the room and quickly helped Sarah to get dressed. When she was ready, they made their way downstairs. Sarah was glad of the rails but also the fact the Beth was there if she needed support.

Once they were in the kitchen Sarah sat down to drink her cup of tea.  Beth was talking about her family and what they’d been up to.

After a few minutes Sarah said, “I’ll go and catch-up with the news I think” and moved into the living room to put the TV on. 

Beth finished what she was doing, then asked. “Is there anything else I can do for you?”

“No thanks, you get off”.

Beth got her coat and walked back into the room.  “See you tomorrow then,”.

“Ok, bye”.

Questions

  • How would you feel if you were Sarah? 
  • What would it be like to work for this company?
  • What stories do you think are being told about people’s experience with this company?
  • What referrals would you gain from this type of client?

Which care visit would you want to receive?   

  • Outstanding care is no less than an hour.
  • Time to care is essential. There is a clear demand for time rich, person-centred care in the private pay market.
  • If you want to attract private clients, you need to have a unique value proposition that will attract them to your business. This means going through client segmentation, creating avatars for your business, creating a storyboard and marketing plan so you know how to approach them and where you will find those clients, as well as in-depth knowledge of your potential referrers in your local area. Explainer video on our home page
  • Your employees need to be able to understand this proposition to be able to sell this to clients.

If you want to know how to achieve this, please get in touch on 01492 550401 or visit www.thoughtsbthings.co.uk