- Can you tell us a little bit about Ashridge Home Care – why did you set it up, what were you doing before and what motivated you?
“When I set up Ashridge Home Care in 2016, I wanted it to provide a care service that I would want myself. The 50 carers I now work with are all driven to deliver the service that we would want for ourselves, should we ever need help in our own home. I’ve worked in the care industry for over 30 years now and have witnessed the passion and energy that drives people to be carers first hand. I am a passionate believer that remaining close to loved ones, friends and neighbours is so important to overall health and wellbeing so creating a company that truly cares has always been my driving ambition. I ensure our carers are supported and helped every step of the way so they in turn can deliver first class care to our clients.” .
- It’s wonderful you are providing the option for people to remain in their own homes, how does it work?
We offer a highly personalised care service which is what sets us apart from other care providers. It really depends on whether they require 24 hour live in care or a few hours of companionship care. It is important to know if they have medical requirements, if they simply want companionship or might need help after an accident or fall. Clearly the client can express a preference if they’d like a female companionship carer or a male and it is key that the client and carer gel so common interests often help. In some cases it is a simply a question of one half of a couple needing some respite from caring for someone else. They just want a couple of hours a week so they can go for a walk, pursue their interests and have some important time to themselves to re-energise so they can care for their partner who might be suffering from dementia or be housebound due an illness. We are very flexible hence why the role is so varied and we’d never place anyone in a caring position that they were not comfortable with.
- The care of people in later life is so important, how do you feel this can evolve to create a world where people can live the best possible life during this later stage?
Home care allows people to remain in their own home. We get a lot of pleasure spending time in our homes, that doesn’t change as you get older, in fact it is probably more relevant to older people. Being supported to live your life the way you want to means you stay in control, unlike nursing home care where many decisions and choices are taken away from you. The service that we offer is very much arranged around the routines of the person receiving care, this means if the client wants a cup of tea at 10am and lunch at 2 then that is exactly what they get. Having the support of a companionship carers also allows people to continue doing things that may have become difficult, for example if a client has always played golf, but can no longer do this, a carer could take them to the golf club for lunch – maintaining important friendships and community links.
- What is the role of carers and how does it work for someone who may be interested?
First and foremost, our carers are compassionate, caring, and thoughtful people who share our values and outlook on life. We provide a new career opportunity for people who may not have worked in the care sector before. All carers are trained using the nationally recognised Care Certificate. We also provide an enhanced bespoke level of training programme which is refreshed annually to make sure our carers are fully equipped for their individual client. We offer an open and inclusive work space and love innovation.
There are many attributes and skills that we look for in our carers. We ask that you will need to:
- Have a positive outlook on life
- Be caring, kind, compassionate, and empathetic
- Enjoy striking up conversation with people (which will require a very good standard of English)
- Be experienced in making good home-cooked food
- Ideally have a full driving license and your own car, but this isn’t essential.
- Is there anything else you might like to share with us and the Beyondtheschoolrun community?
If you are sociable, fancy giving something back to your local community and have a few spare hours in between school runs or simply want to earn extra money in addition to an existing fulfilling career then being a companionship carer might be just the thing for you. As we offer such a bespoke service it is simply a question of whether there is someone who we can match you with personality wise and needs wise. It is very rewarding.
- Do you have children and if so how do you combine work and family?
I’m fortunate enough to have a loving family around me who support me in building Ashridge Care Home into the company it has become today. When you work in an industry that is your passion it is important that your family is with you. Care extends beyond the work place and self care is as important as the care we deliver. I counsel all our carers to take regular breaks and spend time with loved ones, which is exactly what I do. Companionship Carers can be flexible in the amount of time they make for the role. In my experience Companionship Carers are like extended family so the role is very fulfilling.