Meet the people caring for Hertfordshire's vulnerable and elderly at home this Christmas
Published: 22 Dec 2017
This festive period Hertfordshire’s army of home care staff will be leaving their own loved ones at home to deliver care and support older and disabled people across the county.
In Hertfordshire there are roughly 10,000 home care practitioners providing over three million hours of care and support each year to thousands of Hertfordshire’s elderly, vulnerable and disabled residents in their own homes. And this doesn’t stop for the holidays.
Dee Casey from Stevenage is a care practitioner working for Alina Homecare, who are one of Hertfordshire County Councils dedicated lead providers of home care services in the county; Dee has been supporting older and disabled residents in their own homes for over three years.
Dee said; “Many of the people I care for will only see me at Christmas and it makes me feel sad, it’s bad all year-round but it is worse at Christmas. Some of the people I meet are really vulnerable, they depend on me, so I always do what I can to be jolly. On Christmas Day I always take two crackers to each of my calls, so that we can feel a bit festive. If I’m the only visitor they might get, I want them to enjoy the time I spend with them.”
“When it snowed last week, I wasn’t due to be on shift but I went into work because I wanted to help. I had to park my car at a local school and get out and do my calls on foot. When I turned up, people were really pleased to see me and glad that I had been able to make it. I like feeling useful and knowing that I am helping them to have a better quality of life.”
Every Christmas Day our home care staff will sacrifice the comfort of their sofas, their turkey lunches and their own family time to visit and care for those people who need additional support to stay safe and well at home. This Christmas Day and all over the festive period, they will carry our thousands of visits to the homes of residents, in many cases the care practitioner will be the only person they see all day.
Colette Wyatt-Lowe, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care at Hertfordshire County Council said:
“We are so grateful for the dedication of our army of care practitioners, who give up the comforts of home, to care for others over festive period. They are providing a vital service. Not only are they making sure older people will see a friendly face and receive care on their daily visit; they are also helping alleviate pressures on the NHS and emergency services, already so stretched at this time of year, by helping to keep older people safe and well in their own homes and out of hospital”.
“Even though it is heartening to know that people who need help and support will receive a home care visit, many other older and vulnerable people can feel particularly lonely at this festive time of year, and that’s something we can all play a part in reducing. So why not pop in and say hello to your neighbours, invite them in for a cuppa, or find out if there are any jobs or tasks that you could help out with. One small gesture could make a real difference to somebody.”
Kelly Saidykhan, Operations Manager at Alina Homecare said;
“Our home care staff work tirelessly, 365 days a year to provide care to people who need help to remain independent living in their own homes. Come rain or shine, we won’t let the people using our services down and are very proud of all the extra effort made by staff to carry out visits during last week’s cold snap.”
“Many of our care practitioners will be working on Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Years’ Eve and New Years Day to ensure we provide local people with the support they need and also to offer a friendly face and a little Christmas cheer to those who may otherwise not see anyone that day”.
Our ongoing Good Care campaign, launched in 2015, aims to highlight the excellent care being provided in the county and also to highlight the opportunities and benefits available to those looking for a rewarding career in the sector. The care sector in Hertfordshire needs to recruit over 2,000 paid care practitioners each year to keep up with demand placed on our social care system. To find out more about the opportunities available in care go to www.hertsgoodcare.com.