Best of friends Helena and June live together in Kent and both need different levels of support from a carer. Attracted by the cost savings of sharing a live-in carer, they contacted Helping Hands to see whether we could help them.
Today, Stella is providing daily-living assistance for both Helena and June. As their requirements are different – Helena has learning difficulties and June is living with spina bifida – Stella can easily the manage the support she provides. The three of them even managed to go on a carer-assisted holiday to Benidorm.
We caught up with the two vibrant ladies to find out how their support is going.
What made you decide on live-in care?
June: “I wanted to live in my own home as I have never had my own house. I was in residential housing before and when that shut they moved me again. A social worker came to see me and explained that I could get a house and a live in carer. Helena came too. We argue sometimes but it’s better than being back in a home.”
Tell us about your carer
June: “I love Stella. I loved her from the first day. She is my best friend, she does everything for me.”
Helena: “Stella is nice, she is helpful. She cooks special teas for me because I have high cholesterol. She is smashing, she keeps me safe.”
What do you do with your carer? Tell us about your holiday
June: “We go out during the day and go shopping because I like shopping. Stella takes me to all my appointments. When we were on holiday we went to the beach everyday and we went out at night to the pub and to a night club just like everyone else.”
Helena: “The hotel was nice. I enjoyed having a cocktail and getting dressed up and going out at night. We went to the market one day and I bought June a bracelet and me a fan and a shawl and June bought me flower clips for my hair. I had ice cream everyday and we went to the beach and had our lunch in a restaurant. ”
What is the most important factor in receiving live-in care?
June: “You can live in your own house and do what you want. Even though I have to rely on someone else the whole time it’s still my house.”
Helena: “Having Stella to look after us and be at home and my boyfriend John being able to come and visit and have some tea, Stella doesn’t mind making John some tea.”
What would you say to someone considering sharing a carer?
June: “It works for us because Helena doesn’t need a lot of looking after.”
Helena: “I don’t need looking after. I am independent but Stella is smashing and I do need her for some things but I don’t mind that Stella has to spend more time with June because I can go out to my clubs and shopping with John.”
Innovative thinking for younger adults
Sarah Brown is the Local Care Service Manager for Kent and helped to arrange a shared carer for Helena and June. “Public funding for care at home is limited, especially when it comes to younger adults,” she said. “With more and more day centres and activity schemes being closed, a lot of younger adults have no option but to live in a residential setting, sometimes with little or no access to the outside world.
“Having a live-in carer enables younger adults with a disability to have the independence they crave.”
In Helena and June’s case, the local authority was unable to meet the cost of funding for independent living for a single person. But by pairing Helena and June together with a single Helping Hands carer, funding was made available.
“June and Helena are an excellent example of live-in care at its best,” Sarah added, “and it is my pleasure to be a part of that.”
Need more information?
We’re here seven days a week to talk through your home care needs and find the best option for you. Call 03300376958, or send us an email.