Here are some examples of some clients, and what we believe is their total care cost:
SB is eighty-six and has dementia. His wife, eighty-five, is prone to falling. Most of the time their daughter looks after them, but we find carers for them about three times a year when she takes a break. The full cost is £1,050 for a seven-day week.
AB is eighty-two, with limited mobility and some confusion. When he was discharged from hospital, we started with four weeks of care. Now it seems increasingly likely he’ll want full-time care. The total cost is just over £975 a week, but saved whenever his family want to cover a week.
JS is an active man, with early onset dementia. He likes cycling, running and wildlife, so wants to carry on living in his house in the countryside. His family were not sure what to do about care, so decided to try Christies Care. “There was nothing to lose” said his sister. After a month, his family decided that care from Christies Care was the solution and, three years later, he is still in his own home. Currently his care cost is £950 a week.
KB lives with the effects of polio. Now seventy eight, he had polio as a child, is a wheelchair user and has severely-affected speech. His home is well-equipped with an overhead tracked hoist and disabled washing arrangements. He is fully in control of his care arrangements. Currently his care cost is £925 a week.
MK and BK need two carers for the next few months. Mrs K started live-in care in August 2015, as she had gradually increasing dementia. In January 2017 her husband had a stroke and went blind. Two carers are needed to look after them at present although, if BK can adapt to his blindness, they may be able to manage with just one carer. Currently their care costs are £2,200 a week.
FC is surrounded by friends and family. She was married in 1940, widowed in 1993 and has just reached one hundred. We introduced carers seven years ago, when the family decided she could no longer drive. Having lived in the same parish for seventy years, and with family nearby, there was no question of her going into a home. And an immediate needs policy, taken out when she started care, has given very good value! Currently her care cost is £915 a week.
JE and LE share one carer. In 2013 we started providing carers for this couple – she has severe osteoporosis and OCD, and he had suffered a stroke three years earlier. Now both in their nineties, they still have one carer. We are pleased to have kept them together for so long. Currently their care costs are £1,125 a week.
MM has severe dementia and multiple problems. At eighty, he is physically able and active but has severe dementia and has a tendency to evict his carer. He also accuses him of theft from time to time because he is very protective of his home and resents strangers. We use our most highly trained carers and all the protocols are in place. His behaviour when out of the house can also be a bit unpredictable. But our carer gets respite daily from a local agency and we work together closely to make his care a success. Our care cost is £1,110 a week.
NG is 55 and has Down’s syndrome. He lived with his mother until her Alzheimer’s was so bad that she went to a nursing home. She had done everything for him, so he had few life skills and little independence. We now have a regular team of carers for NG, who have encouraged him to do tasks on his own. He is learning to cook, and his biggest achievement is that he now goes out alone, whenever he wants, including on the Underground without getting lost. NG has direct payments, and a support worker visits once a week, checking NG’s bills, and giving any direction or management necessary to carers. Currently his care cost is £940 a week.
LR has a spinal injury. Now twenty-eight, we’ve provided him with live-in carers since 2009. He works in advertising, likes to go to the pub with his friends, and has just come back from holiday in the Canary islands. Currently his care cost is under £800 a week.
For example, we had a call from an 83 year old lady’s grand-daughter, saying that her grandmother was very ill and couldn’t be left alone. The grand-daughter had to be back at work the next day. We were called at 4pm on a Wednesday, and were able to organise a carer to be at the client’s house (a remote farmhouse in Suffolk) the next morning. Before we introduce a live-in carer, we usually send our Local Area Advisor to meet the client, answer the questions he or she will have about live-in care, to gather information about the tasks the client is likely to want the carer to perform and to assess any risks. In this case, the Local Area Advisor picked up the carer in his car and drove her to the client’s house, so that no time was wasted between assessing risks and starting care.
Some clients want to start care within a week. Mrs Harrison, for example wanted to be discharged from hospital on a Thursday and her son Earl rang us the Friday before. The Local Area Advisor visited Mrs Harrison in hospital in Torquay and a carer was at Mrs Harrison’s house the next day to greet her as she was being discharged.
Other clients are planning their care, and the process is more measured. In the case of John for example, his family had time to consider all the options carefully and, as his sister put it, “we knew he needed companionship but weren’t really sure if he needed a live-in carer yet, so we decided to try it. If it didn’t work, we hadn’t lost anything.”
The choice of carer – we listen to our clients and know our carers. Throughout the interview and training processes, we learn their strengths and weaknesses, which helps us to maintain a good team of carers. We listen to, and know our clients. We visit our clients, and talk to them, so we can know which carers will be suitable for them; which carers have the right personality and outlook. We collect feedback about individual carers, and act on it. If a client likes a carer (and the carer likes the client) that carer will return. If a client dislikes a carer (or the carer dislikes the client) that carer will not return.
Your wishes, tasks and living conditions – the guide to your wishes is a crucial part of ensuring the success of your live-in care. It allows us to give the carers a realistic expectation of the workload. The better the living conditions are then the happier the carer will be and the more likely it is she’ll want to come back regularly.
Our commitment to reliability – our specialist expertise and experience means we will not let you down. Our dedicated team works hard to ensure that no client is ever left without a carer.
Our administration – as we are large and specialised, we can focus exclusively on making sure that our records, administration and support and emergency systems are up-to-date.
In this situation if you (or the carer) ask us to then we work flexibly to resolve any issues as quickly as possible. Our office is open Mon – Fri, 9am to 5pm, or if there is an emergency our out of hours line is manned 24/7.
If the carer we want to introduce has a day spare before she comes, this can be done. Obviously, the carer would expect to be paid for her time and her travel costs (we suggest £65 a day and the cost of a standard class return railway ticket).
However, sometimes the carer is on holiday abroad, or is working for another client, or the client wants to start care very fast.In these circumstances, it is difficult for a carer to travel to her new client to meet before care starts.
A good solution is for the client to Skype her carer. They can talk and get to know each other, maybe over several conversations.
“Jo is a wonderful carer – professional, kind, thoughtful, compassionate and she seems to think of everything. We couldn’t manage without her and I cannot express how much my mother and I appreciate her work.
All of the family enjoy her company and feel that she adds tremendously to any event.
I never have to worry about getting my Mum into the house when we return from somewhere, Jo’s always ready and waiting. She helps with the complicated process of getting the wheelchair into and out of the car and is incredibly flexible and patient.”
“Many thanks for all your care and attention, I am quite sure that Sandra’s care and thoughtfulness got him back on his feet far quicker than he would have otherwise, he is now very chirpy and has a new lease of life.
For that we are very grateful.”
“I just wanted to say thank you for the care you have supplied over the last 4 weeks for my Mum.
Kathy has been excellent, and her behaviour and discretion over the period of my father’s funeral cannot to be faulted.”
“The best laid plans…Mama died yesterday afternoon.
She was so pleased with all you did to enable her to spend another 3 years at home, enjoying all her friendships, the companionship of her carers and the hugely professional and thoughtful overall organisation of Christies.
We are all so grateful and will recommend you every time! All good wishes and heartfelt thanks to you all.”