When David Dimelow needed help caring for his elderly parents who lived over 200 miles away, he found a local care provider through the internet. Sadly, he was not happy with the quality of care received and the experience helped him to decide on a career change.
David left the IT industry, where he had worked for 35 years, to embark on a new challenge of providing high quality, friendly and professional care, which would enable people to carry on living independently in their own homes.
“It is now exactly a year ago that I decided to quit IT and join the Everycare organisation. Having done a lot of research into the care industry, it soon became apparent that the reputation enjoyed by Everycare and the emphasis placed on high quality care services made it a company I wanted to be part of,” says David.
Everycare provides all the care services needed to keep clients living independently in their own homes for as long as possible. That means providing everything from help with getting up and going to bed, meal preparation, assistance with medication, laundry, cleaning and shopping. It can also include sleepover services for those leaving hospital or needing extra comfort during the night. Drawing on his own experience, David appreciates that the most important elements of the service are providing companionship, warmth, empathy and continuity of care.
David now owns the Everycare franchise for Mid Sussex. In keeping with his ethos of offering the highest quality of care possible, he has initially decided to concentrate his efforts around Haywards Heath, Burgess Hill and the surrounding villages. “In time, I will expand and hope to open offices in East Grinstead, Horsham and the Steyning area, but at the moment I’m keeping it small, because I can’t expect my carers to travel such long distances,” he explains.
Having started the business at the end of May last year, the first member of staff was soon appointed: Katie Manville, Registered Care Manager. With 20 years’ experience in the care industry, Katie was instrumental in helping with the compliance necessary to achieve Care Quality Commission accreditation. It was all in place by last October and Everycare welcomed their first client in November. With the growth of the business, the latest addition to the office team is Keighly O’Reilly who works as co-ordinator and administrator in the office; it’s her job to organise the carers’ rota.
Home is where the heart is
The carers are the heart of the business. Everycare firmly believe that one of the best ways to offer a better quality service is by looking after their own top quality staff; loyalty is rewarded. Carers receive good rates of pay, mileage allowance and holiday pay, ensuring that service users can be confident they receive the continuity of care other providers often struggle to provide.
“We look for people with the right attitude and aptitude. Once on board, we give them thorough training in all our policies and procedures,” says Katie.
All carers undergo an enhanced DBS (formerly CRB) check and are fully insured. As you would expect, the industry is heavily regulated and the carers are all helped and supervised by Katie to ensure that high standards are maintained and everything is done to a client’s specific wishes.
Once a client or family member has made contact with Everycare, Katie will visit to make an initial assessment of their specific needs, often with the help of a relative. “Everything we do is built around the individual,” she explains. “We want to know everything – from how they like to be addressed, how they take their tea and coffee, where they like to eat their meals, how they like their sandwiches made and what medication they need to take and when. When someone is living at home, it’s completely different to being in hospital or a care home. We are very aware that our carers go into clients’ private home and are there to work around the client’s routines to provide the best possible service for the individual.
Being cared for in their own home greatly improves the quality of life for service users. Not only are they surrounded by all their personal belongings, with perhaps a garden to enjoy and neighbours and friends close by, but it’s maintaining a degree of independence that contributes to an enormous sense of wellbeing.
While David has found the transition from working for large corporations to working for himself challenging at times, what drives him is his desire to deliver the type of high quality care that his own parents would have benefitted from. “I put in more hours than I ever did before, but I don’t mind because I’m building a business based on values and standards that I believe in.”
We are committed to employing top quality carers. If you have a kind and caring nature and would be interested in joining the Everycare team, please contact the office with your details.
Click Here to view the original story as seen in Sussex Living Magazine Sussex Living Advertorial May 2014