“Níl aon tinteán mar do thinteán féin”
is a lovely old Irish saying which means, “There is no fire side like your own fireside”. How true this is.
We all love the comfort and security of our own homes and so, it is the wish of many of us, as we grow older and move on in years, to remain in our own homes, close to our families, friends and community.
Unfortunately, sometimes, due to circumstances such as ill health or the death of one’s life partner, life as we know it may change, and suddenly, that, what seemed very ordinary now becomes quite extraordinary and living at home no longer appears a viable option. But there is an option.
Thanks to many successive Governments in this country, there is today, a choice available for those of us that require a little extra help to remain in our homes, if we so wish. This help is called home care.
In Ireland, home care is provided by both the Health Service Executive (HSE) and the private sector, for instance, companies such as Bluebird Care, for which I am the Director of Care. I would like to take this opportunity to tell you about the service we provide and reassure you, that yes, home care can be an option for you and your family member if so required.
Bluebird Care is an independent service provider that provides direct care in the home and community to customers on behalf of the HSE and other agencies as requested. We also provide services to customers in a private capacity at the request of the individual or a family member. We have 26 offices nationwide, all independently owned and managed.
At Bluebird Care we are dedicated to providing professional, safe, quality health and social care services in a dignified, respectful and compassionate manner to all of our customers.
Our care services facilitate people to remain in their own homes and community in so far as is possible.
We provide care services to the following:
- Older Persons
- Adults and older persons with a medical diagnoses of Dementia
- Adults who require care and support due to chronic illness such as Arthritis, Stroke, Multiple Sclerosis, Respiratory conditions etc.
- Adults who require care and support as a result of an Acquired Brain Injury
- Adults with an established Spinal Injury who require support/rehabilitation to live at home
- Adults who require support with convalescence/rehabilitation post hospitalisation
- Adults with Physical/Sensory/Intellectual Disabilities
- Children with Physical/Sensory/Intellectual Disabilities
- College Students who require support to attend college
- Adults/Children with complex care needs i.e. Tracheostomy Care
An example of some of the type of care services we can provide for our customers in the community include:
- Assisting the customer with his her personal care / hygiene needs / catheter care
- Assisting the customer with getting up and going to bed.
- Assisting the customer with dressing and undressing.
- Meal preparation and assisting the customer with eating
- Shopping and running errands
- Medication prompting / collecting and returning medication from pharmacies / dispensing GP surgeries
- Light Housework / laundry
- Assisting the customer with social activities i.e. support with visiting friends, attending clubs.
Our services are nurse-led because we know that competent reflective nurse practitioners are crucial to the delivery of safe, quality customer care.
All our care staff have the required training and skill set as prescribed by the HSE to carry out their work and are supported in their work by our care managers and care supervisors. We train our staff to place the customer at the heart and centre of every interaction.
Regardless of the position of any staff member in our company, we require that all staff involved in the provision of care on behalf of Bluebird Care have the following key competencies: kindness, respect, dignity and compassion.
From the moment of referral, Bluebird Care will respond to the customer in a timely person centered manner. Anyone wishing to avail of our service will have a comprehensive assessment of their health and social care needs undertaken by one of our Care Managers.
Throughout the assessment process our Care Manager focuses on the needs and preferences of the customer and enables the customer and his / her family member (as appropriate) to participate in making informed decisions about his / her care. From this information a care plan is developed.
The care staff member with the most appropriate skills to meet the customers’ needs will be assigned to carry out the work in the customer’s home. The Care Manager will introduce this staff member to the customer and the care plan will be reviewed in detail with the customer at his or her home.
To support good quality service provision, we at Bluebird Care have developed and implemented robust policies and procedures and clinical guidance documents which support our care practices and are fully compliant with the HSE. In addition, we quality assure our service provision against HSE Home Support & Personal Care Services Service Standards and the HIQA National Standards for Safer Better Healthcare (2012).
It is important that I highlight, in particular, that at Bluebird Care the safety and wellbeing of all customers is paramount and all our staff receive specific training pertaining to safeguarding.
To conclude, we at Bluebird care want to be the best at what we do. This requires a lot of hard work, dedication and a very strong commitment from all our staff.
We enjoy an excellent relationship with all of our customers and look forward to continuing with this commitment to our customers and their families over the next number of years.
I hope I have provided you with some insight into home care at Bluebird Care and more importantly the reassurance that there is always a realistic option.
Director of Care, Bluebird Care Ireland