On Valentine’s Day 2009, my then 33 year old daughter had a stroke.
Now, instead of walking, she must spend her day in a wheelchair and it takes her a great deal of effort and practice just to speak. However, the stroke did not take everything away: she still has her mind, her feelings and her kindness. She is stuck in a body that refuses to listen, with a voice that is sometimes too soft to hear.
Before her stroke, she had a career as a remarkably talented and caring school teacher. Despite her circumstances, she still volunteers three times a week at local schools and continues to share her time with young children.
I have watched my daughter through all of this: I have held her hand when the doctors weren’t sure if she was ever going to wake up and I was there, still holding her hand, when she did. I have been there for every infection and every setback but I was also there the first time she spoke again and the first time she sat up. I love my daughter as dearly as any mother can and want the best for her. She now needs 24 hour support from trained carers, supplied by a care agency. It is through my experiences with both agencies and carers that I have come to realise that there is a need for personalised care.
As I said before, my daughter’s voice is soft and difficult to hear but with just a small amount of patience, it is easy to understand her. It is through first hand experience that we have come to understand how essential it is that any carer not only provides the professional care for which they are trained but they also invest time to understand the frustrations the service users are experiencing; after all my daughter may speak softly but that does not mean that her voice should be ignored.
As a small family run care agency we see this as our number one priority and our aim is to get to know each of our service users so we can do everything possible to ensure we pair them with the most suitable carer to fully support them and their needs. I have witnessed how the right carer can not only provide fantastic professional care but through understanding and social interaction, they can also have a huge and positive impact on a service user's confidence and social needs.
Through the creation of a small care agency;
- We will continuously strive to ensure good relations between the service user and the carer.
- Our priority is and always will be, the service user that come to us for help, as I understand how difficult it is each day for both the service user and the service user's family.
- We will also strive to improve and will always welcome feedback.
- Our primary focus will always be to offer a personalised and flexible service to meet any change in needs of our service users.
My goal is to ensure that anyone who seeks our agency’s help will feel that their voice is heard, no matter how soft or how loud it is.