Adapting to the Covid pandemic and putting people at the forefront with Preston's carers who really care

For Right At Home, the mantra which defines them is a simple one: carers should really care. And it's a mantra they live by.

By Jack Marshall, Reporter
Thursday, 16th December 2021, 4:55 am
Right At Home carers Cath and Suzanne undergoing basic life support training

Founded in 2015, the homecare provider delivers a raft of personal support services with a difference. From bespoke elderly care, companionship and support, and dementia care to specialist care, respite care, live-in care, and hospital-to-home support, Right at Home's mission is to ensure that people can live in the comfort of their own homes for longer.

"What brought me here was a very personal thing," says co-director Jayne Price. "I had a friend who was dying of breast cancer and her care was exceptional but disjointed. That made me realise I wanted to be part of a care company that cared. What makes us different is that we give carers the time to do the job properly: real care takes time, you can't do it in 15 minutes.

"On so many occasions, carers are expected to be in five places at once and clients are rushed and not heard," adds Jayne. "We take pressure off carers by having a minimum visit time of an hour, which gives them the time to get to know people because life is more than just a series of tasks.

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Karen Myres

"I remember how a lady once phoned me and said that, while she loved all the carers, she requested a certain carer at breakfast time because that carer got her toast right," continues Jayne. "For me, that showed the importance of the little things and how they can make the difference between a good day and a bad day."

Jayne's fellow co-director Karen Myres agrees wholeheartedly. "Everything we do is person-centred because we know how big a difference the little things can make, so taking the time to develop a personal relationship with people is important," she says. "Going that extra step is our USP and, in turn, we're there for people and can adapt care around clients themselves.

"The pandemic meant we had to be flexible," adds Karen. "For example, when lockdown kicked in, our first port of call was to make sure we had the right PPE so we'd be able to continue that crucial care at a hard time for people. It was also important that we worked with caregivers to ensure we were constantly in communication with clients and their families.

"For people with dementia, to all of a sudden have people in masks and full PPE in your home could have been frightening, so we made sure we were putting them first at all times by working with patients and families," Karen explains. "It was a difficult time for everyone and the weight of responsibility was massive, but we've been there for people."

Right At Home’s Carrie taking part in cough assist training

With all of Right at Home's CareGivers going through a training and orientation process which goes above and beyond national standards, the company offers personalised care plans, combining emotional and moral support with specialist care knowledge. They also stay in close contact with family and friends so as to keep them updated and give them peace of mind.

"Being that link between clients and their families during Covid when home visits were banned meant that we were a vital point of contact as well," says Karen, who adds that the company is always on the lookout for people interested in a career in care. "It was great to be able to help with things like technology so that people could keep up to date with their loved ones.

"That was a real point of pride."

Pride in the work is something which Jayne echoes as one of the core tenets of Right At Home's efforts during the pandemic. "During the pandemic, a real desire to keep people safe has been the main driver and, when a carer is interested in you and really cares, that makes a real impact," she says. What might suit one person might not suit another, after all.

"Day-to-day, the work gives us all a massive sense of pride," Jayne adds. "We're from this community so getting homecare right is very rewarding."