24th August 2016
Terrablu is a family – for our staff, but also for our clients. Lots of organisations say that, but this story demonstrates how we really provide an extended family for our elderly clients and those with dementia in the Tonbridge, Tunbridge Wells and Sevenoaks areas.
When our excellent homecarer Rose called for a routine visit on one of our clients, she was surprised to find the lady wasn’t at home; her husband told her she was in hospital. Rose was concerned as the lady has Motor Neurone Disease, needs PEG feeding and is unable to communicate easily, so writes down what she wants to say on a board. So Rose decided to visit her client in hospital, even though her shift was coming to an end – extended family member Number 1.
When she got there, Rose was alarmed that the hospital didn’t have the proper equipment for the PEG feeding, and the lady had already missed a meal. Although the client had taken her board with her, the doctors and nurses had no experience her condition so weren’t communicating effectively with her. Rose could see the client’s frustration the moment she looked at her.
Not wanting to leave her alone, Rose called her daughter (who doesn’t even work for Terrablu!) and asked her to drive round to the lady’s house to pick up her feeding equipment and bring it to the hospital – extended family member Number 2.
After Rose had fed the client, her daughter stayed with her while Rose went back to the lady’s house to pick up her specially adapted car. Meanwhile, another of our carers, Heather, had finished her shift in Tonbridge, so went to the hospital to help – extended family member Number 3.
Between Rose, her daughter and Heather, they got the lady back home, where we were able to give her the bespoke care from familiar faces that she values so much.
“I know you’re not supposed to get close to clients, but you do become friends with them,” says Rose. “So when exceptional circumstances arise, we deliver the care that friends or extended family would deliver, even when we’re off shift and even if it means calling our own family for additional help.”
At Terrablu, it really is an extended family affair – and we wouldn’t want it any other way.