We spoke to Lynda Lawler about her experience of finding live-in care for her father with ALHomecare.
Finding the right care for a loved one can often take a great deal of consideration, both in terms of how it impacts their lives and figuring out the cost implications as well.
Every situation is different, but speaking to someone who has faced this decision themselves can often make it easier to know what steps to take next. It’s a decision that was faced by Lynda Lawler and her sister Cliona last year, when they were told that their father was no longer able to live independently at home.
In January 2022, her father suffered a fall that resulted in him being taken to St Vincent’s Hospital in Dublin with fractured ribs. After a long stay in hospital and another in a rehab facility in Dublin, Lynda was told that under no circumstances should her dad go home on his own.
Lynda says, “We tried to make our house more comfortable for him to live in but I’ve got two young children and it wouldn’t be fair on him to come and live with toddlers. A friend of mine, her mom is a retired nurse and she had actually heard about ALHomecare and passed me on the details.”
ALHomecare specialises in matching high quality carers with older adults who wish to remain at home. By helping set out a list of requirements to make sure the client’s unique needs are met, they will find suitable candidates for the family to interview and the family can then make a final decision on the right carer for them.
“I reached out to them and explained the situation, that my dad was in respite and asked what could they do. They gave me a bit of background on where they have helped families out before.
“My dad’s preference was to stay at home if he could… he said ‘I want to be at home in my own place.’ He kind of made the decision that we needed to do this,” Lynda says.
When trying to find the right carer, what works for one person might not necessarily be the best solution for someone else. Every situation is different, as are the clients, so having a good understanding of what you are looking for is crucial when trying to find a suitable live-in carer.
“It’s a huge decision, to allow somebody to come into your home that you don’t know. My sister and I were really apprehensive about this, wondering if we’re doing the right thing for dad by letting a stranger come in that we don’t know from Adam,” she says.
Lynda says they were able to the right person after looking through applicants’ CVs and shortlisting for interviews and finally offering the position to someone.
“When the carer moved in, after a little bit of time they built up a really lovely friendship. Part of our requirements with ALHomecare was that our dad was a very social person; he loves going out driving, parking his car by Dun Laoghaire and reading a book looking at the sea.
“He just loves getting out and about, so part of our criteria that we set out was that this person has to have a full driver’s licence and be willing to take my dad out places. For example, he could come out to visit me rather than me having to go out to him, so he could have a change of scenery.
“That was met, and the carer they provided had a full driver’s licence and we got them insured on my dad’s car and brought him out for little trips and a friendship developed,” she says.
While their situation has since changed and Lynda’s father has now moved to a nursing home, the bond he formed with his carer is still as strong as ever.
“The carer that looked after my dad through ALHomecare is still visiting him, going down to the nursing home and playing poker with him. It worked out really well for him,” she says.
When Lynda is asked about the main advantages of finding the right live-in carer, she says that peace of mind was one of the main ones.
“Having the security of someone living in the apartment and the presence at night knowing that my dad was going to be, in theory, safe I suppose. And that God forbid he had a fall there would be somebody there to ring an ambulance for him.
“It gave me peace of mind. I could actually turn my phone on silent at night, whereas I couldn’t before. I felt more relaxed having somebody there,” she says.
“ALHomecare came highly recommended to us as a family. It was the best decision we could have made – it meant we got to have our dad at home longer in his own environment.”
Give ALHomecare a call and find out why more and more people are availing of this person-centred approach to home care that's more affordable than a nursing home or private visiting care service.
You can call ALHomecare at 01 513 5564 or 087 744 0729 or 087 9916791
Or visit www.alhomecare.ie
And remember, they offer a nationwide service.