WORK­ING LIFE

Irish Examiner - Feelgood - - Health -

Rachel Scan­lon, co-founder of Cas­tle Home­care, pri­vate home­care provider 7.30am I drop my daugh­ter Eve, 2, to the child­min­der be­fore head­ing for the of­fice in Ballinteer. It’s a half-hour com­mute from my home in Brit­tas, south Co Dublin. 9am Af­ter check­ing emails, I touch base with col­leagues to see how clients fared overnight. We’re a pri­vate com­pany with a close work­ing re­la­tion­ship with the HSE and our care man­agers link in reg­u­larly with their mul­ti­dis­ci­plinary team — oc­cu­pa­tional ther­a­pists, phys­io­ther­a­pists, so­cial work­ers and pub­lic health nurses. We keep the lines of com­mu­ni­ca­tion open which ben­e­fits ev­ery­one. 9.30am I’ve a weekly com­pany meet­ing to see how home­care pack­ages are work­ing out and to dis­cuss new cases. Our care man­agers link in with fam­ily mem­bers and the client to see what their ex­pec­ta­tions are. Peo­ple use care in dif­fer­ent ways. Some need a hand get­ting up in the morn­ing, others re­quire care around-the-clock. We of­fer ev­ery­thing from com­pan­ion­ship to meal prepa­ra­tion, light house­keep­ing, per­sonal care and de­men­tia care. 12 noon I meet with the of­fice man­ager to dis­cuss im­prove­ments to our data­base. We de­liver home­care pack­ages to circa 150 el­derly peo­ple in Dublin on be­half of the HSE, so good record-keep­ing is es­sen­tial — de­tails of Garda vet­ting, staff train­ing etc. We em­ploy a team of ap­prox­i­mately 100 car­ers.

1pm

Lunchtime. I’m preg­nant with our sec­ond child so it’s nice to get a bit of fresh air.

2pm

A lot of our clients are lo­cal, so I some­times pop in for a chat. When my­self and Chris­tine King founded the com­pany in 2010, our ethos was to pro­vide the care we’d like our own par­ents to re­ceive. My in­ter­est sprang from car­ing for a fam­ily friend while Chris­tine worked in home­care in Aus­tralia and was in­spired by how well they do it.

4pm

I fa­mil­iarise my­self with de­vel­op­ments in the home­care sec­tor. Cur­rently, the Gov­ern­ment is look­ing at ex­tend­ing Fair Deal to in­clude home­care. We would wel­come this devel­op­ment, how­ever, we’d like to see fur­ther in­for­ma­tion on the pro­posed guide­lines and frame­work for home­care. Will it be reg­u­lated in line with HIQA stan­dards and how will car­ers be re­sourced for the scheme?

5.30pm

Home to spend time with Eve and my part­ner Kevin.

“Peo­ple use care in dif­fer­ent ways”

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