Three years ago I reached the age when advertisers began to interrupt my favourite tv programmes to promote life cover, funeral planning and equity release. At around the same time my parents-in -law approached their ninth decade living independently in their own home and life was comfortable for us all. Like many families we all avoided those conversations beginning with ‘what’s next’. What happens when health and mobility fails? For our family my mother in law began to show early signs of dementia. My father in law found his ankles and then legs failing. We described this devoted couple ‘bookends’ each propping the other up.
Within a few short months we were in crisis reaching out for private carers and steadily needing more and more help until residential care seemed the only option. I cannot begin to describe how that affected us all. Suddenly the stability of the family home where my wife had grown up was in jeopardy. Then by chance a friend introduced us to the concept of Live In care. It didn’t take long to discover The Good Care Group led at the time by Dominique Kent who was also an influential industry leader. We wanted the best and fortunately found it.
Leadership begins at the top and we soon found TGCG where passionate and skilled professionals that at every layer within the company were targeting their skills on protecting families like ours.
The most important relationship we had was with the carers themselves. A family home is extremely private and the initial skill of well-motivated and trained carers is to enter a home with respect and gradually gain confidence of their nervous client. New relationships must all differ but for our family, by offering regular healthy and interesting meals alongside gentle care and conversation won them over. All the carers we have met have unique experiences and tales to tell of their own families and homes. Acceptance soon came and we recognised the delicate role of our Care Manager Erica in building a comprehensive care plan and identifying carers best suited for the placement. That eased the first hurdle, changeover, when the process of introduction was repeated and the new carer’s skill and personalities were introduced. Clients of advanced age are likely to have numerous medications and prescriptions. The transfer of responsibility and ordering is critical with potential health implications. Initially this was from my father in Law (who managed his and his wife’s medication) to our first carer and then to her relief. This process was handled diplomatically and by involving him and showing him TGCG’s hospital standard safety controls he gained the confidence to hand over responsibility. Quite an achievement given that he had operated controls throughout his own working life and found delegation hard..
Care needs changed rapidly for our family. Both decreasing mobility and Dementia began to show and occurred during the period of Lockdown when my wife and I were unable to visit indoors for several months. The efforts each carer made for our family to meet and talk from the porch so that we enjoyed safe contact was a regular high point. As we stood back over this time TGCG stood up and proactively managed GP and other services including two sudden short ambulance admissions to hospital necessitating house quarantine on discharge.
So as I watch reruns of Dad’s Army and Only Fools and Horses and the advertisers interrupt to remind me of my own possible weaknesses, I am confident that the people of The Good Care Group will be there one day for us. The company has demonstrated that their clients come first and it is a passionate ‘People’ business. Combine this with proactive and efficient management and the company’s own longevity should be assured. Thank you for allowing me to write this heartfelt testimonial.