The Able Label Blog
We are fortunate enough at The Able Label to have the opportunity of crossing paths with many people and organisations who’s care and support goes above and beyond, making a significant impact on peoples lives. We felt it would only be fair to honour some of these often unsung care heroes within our new section, ‘Care Heroes’.
Founder Katie is all too familiar with the challenges and also rewards involved with caring for someone. It was when her nan needed a carer whilst Katie’s mother (the sole-carer for her nan) recovered from a serious operation that she decided the time was right to take on the role as a carer.
Katie’s nan lives at home independently at the grand age of 94 and was adamant she didn’t want to go into a care home but knew she still needed some help to maintain as much independence as possible. Katie left her job at fashion retailer White Stuff to become her carer whilst her mother recovered.
At the same time, Katie began work on her dream, establishing The Able Label with the aim of encouraging independence and self-confidence through clothing. Whilst caring for her nan, she quickly realised the need for stylish adaptive clothing wasn’t solely amongst those with a disability, like Parkinson’s which her grandmother had, and where she first spotted the need. It was also through the general changes, which come through ageing. Her nan has reduced range of movement like getting her arms over her head and limited feeling in her finger tips affecting her fine motor skills which all make dressing a challenge. The Able Label sought to overcome these very common challenges to make the daily dressing routine quicker, easier and safer for those in the same situation as her nan – wanting to remain independent but still look good too.
You can see Katie's proud nan modeling one of the lovely, best selling Imogen Jersey Shirts in the image above. It is much easier for her to get on and off as there is no over head dressing involved and no fiddly fastenings as buttons are for display only. The shirt is fastened securely using velcro which can be touched closed and requires less strength and dexterity to open than other fastenings.
Someone else who has been moved by a person experience into care is Symone Salwan. Previously a successful carer in management, she left her job to run the Tunbridge Wells, Sevenoaks and Edenbridge branch of Home Instead. You can read more about her and the great work Symone and Home Instead do by reading the Home Instead Senior Care blog. Home Instead Senior Care is part of a worldwide organisation providing high-quality care for older people - you can read more about them on the Home Instead website here. Had Katie not been able to care for her nan as she did in this situation, Home Instead care certainly would have been an option keeping her nan as independent as possible in the comfort of her own home where she wanted to remain.
If you have a ‘care hero’ who you feel deserves to be honored, please let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and we could be giving them a mention in the next section!
Last week, Katie visited the Home Instead Senior Care head office of the Tunbridge Wells, Sevenoaks and Edenbridge branch. Greeted by the lovely Symone, they had a cup of tea and a long chat about domiciliary care.
So impressed by the homecare services they offer, Katie felt it was important to write about them.
For those of you who have not heard of Home Instead before, they are specialists in non-medical homecare of older people. In the same way The Able Label was started, Symone too was moved by a personal experience with her Grandmother. This led to her leaving a successful career in management in pursuit of starting up a business whilst making a difference.
Catering for a variety of individual needs, Home Instead offer many services ranging from a few hours a day up to 24 hours, 7 days a week. There are three key categories of service; companionship, home help and personal care. A few services available under these categories include:
– stimulating mental awareness through conversation, reminiscing and recording family history
– accompanying on trips, visiting neighbours or family, going out for lunch or to appointments together.
– participating in hobbies and crafts together or helping with reading
Home Help Service
– assisting with weekly tasks including changing bed linen, washing, ironing and dry cleaning.
– preparing shopping lists together, doing shopping and putting items away.
– providing light housekeeping, take rubbish out, care for houseplants and pets.
Personal Care Service
– assisting with daily tasks like morning wake up and evening tuck in as well as bathing, grooming and dressing.
– providing respite and convalescence care
– helping with medication reminders and assisting with eating.
A victim of their own success however, the Tunbridge Wells, Sevenoaks and Edenbridge branch of Home Instead are so focused on finding the right staff, they are currently unable to meet demand. Symone maintains satisfying current at-home clients’ needs first is the priority but even these individuals are requiring increased hours from their services.
The shortage of staff is predominantly down to their high standards when recruiting. Symone explained that in order to give at-home clients the best possible care, they only employ individuals who have been pre-screened, scrutinised and carefully checked. With compassion at the heart of employment, caregivers go on to receive extensive and continuous training before they are paired with an at-home client. “The match has to be right for both if the service is to work” Symone emphasises.
Katie found herself moved by the compassion of her and the team. Everything they do is centred on one simple question, “would I be happy with my Grandmother receiving this care?” This is what sets Home Instead apart.
There is a focus is on building trusting relationships and providing mental stimulation, which is all to often neglected within care. It is not about ticking off a to-do list, it is about speaking to individuals and working with them to tailor a care plan around their specific needs. This in turn helps to give the at-home client as much independence as possible as they work with them not to them. This gives them much more meaningful and fulfilled lives.
If you are keen to find out more about the services available, please take a look at the Home Instead website. Otherwise if you are based in the Tunbridge Wells, Sevenoaks and Edenbridge area, contact Symone directly at email@example.com to see how they can help support you or you loved ones.
Alternatively, if you are interested in flexible and rewarding part-time work around the Tunbridge Wells, Sevenoaks and Edenbridge areas, Home Instead are looking for caregivers. Please contact Symone directly on 01892 731264. No specific experience is needed, you just need to be reliable and have a passion for caring for other people as full training will be provided.