For the past 11 years Elizabeth has been receiving personalised live-in care from Agincare. Thanks to the support of live-in care worker, Oly, and holiday cover, Mark, she has seen lifelong dreams come true.
Elizabeth lives in Croydon with her Mum and live-in care worker Olympia (Oly).
When Oly is away, Mark has been there to help manage her dystonia; a disorder characterised by involuntary muscle contractions. After providing 4 weeks of care over the past year, the two have already formed a close friendship that goes beyond just personal care.
As a result of Mark’s optimism and enthusiasm, Elizabeth has been able to visit places that have always remained just on the horizon. She explains:
Where I live there is a place called Farthing Downs. There you can see the shapes of the buildings in London. It’s always been on the horizon. A couple of times I have seen the sun bouncing off the Shard. I always had a hope and belief that I would get there.
This distant dream would become a reality earlier this year when Mark proposed the trip to London. Mark used to work in the city and shared Elizabeth’s intrigue.
Reflecting on the day, Elizabeth thanked Mark for going above and beyond to make her dream come true:
He enabled me to achieve a long term goal which I have been working towards for many years… to go to London and see The Thames. It was magical! I cried happy tears! And it got even better. I saw lots of the London sights from my car, thanks to Mark’s guided tour. Totally wonderful and a dream come true.
Whether it is a permanent live-in care worker, or a placement to cover a period of holiday, our personal approach to matching care workers ensures individualised care for our service users.
Elizabeth has been supported by Mark on two separate occasions now, and has requested he provide cover whenever Oly is away.
Oly has been Elizabeth’s permanent care worker for the past three years and in that time they have become close companions; making every day full of laughter.
Oly and I are very different characters, with different views on life, yet I have found that we make a great team for dealing with my disability and difficulties. She is a fun and positive person, and she does everything she can to enable me to enjoy my life as much as possible.
An example of this, Elizabeth explained, was a recent adventure to Borde Hill Gardens.
Inspired by a friend’s trip to the sculpture gardens, Elizabeth was eager to visit, and with Oly’s help they planned to explore the gardens over three separate occasions.
I couldn’t go round all the gardens in one day. They were too big and I get tired. So we did it in three trips and planned out the sections. That way I got to see the whole garden and all the sculptures.
Trips such as this are rare occurrences for Elizabeth but dreams made into reality by Oly’s enthusiasm and can-do attitude.
Supported by Oly, Elizabeth is able to enjoy life and make every day an adventure; even when remaining at home. Over the past three years, they have developed a friendship that goes beyond care worker and service user. Together, they often enjoy days of fun and laughter.
Oly’s great fun. She does my nails and dyes my hair pink. We have a good laugh. I spend much of my day giggling.
A live-in care worker offers more than just physical care. They are a friend and companion; there to fight feelings of loneliness and help find pathways to making dreams come true.
Together, Oly and Mark provide consistent, personalised care on a 24/7 basis. This is something that Elizabeth has been particularly grateful for in recent months with news of the current recruitment crisis in care.
“Needing carers makes me feel very vulnerable, and I worry about getting the care I need. I feel so fortunate to have Oly here as my permanent carer as she gives me stability and enables me to live my life in the best possible way I can with my physical limitations.”
Elizabeth is supported by the same person each day. When Oly is away, she can talk to her care co-ordinator, Siobhan, to request temporary support from another care worker, such as Mark.
Siobhan is a vital part in our fully managed care service. By providing carefully matched care workers, Siobhan is the hidden piece that supports Elizabeth to be independent. Elizabeth adds:
Siobhan is a bit of gold dust. She is so organised and does a great job of matching carers for me.