Personal Care: Answering the questions you were afraid to ask
Home care means different things to different people, but broadly speaking it’s the kind of care that can help you live as independently as possible in the home you love. The kind of care that BelleVie offers is suitable for adults of all ages. It can be a short-term arrangement – to help you get by while you’re recovering from an operation for instance – or it can be something more long-lasting, provided as often as needed on a regular basis.
The extent of the care we deliver depends very much on the individual we’re working with. Some people may want company and companionship and perhaps need a few errands running. Others may want help keeping on top of medication or housework, or a hand with menu planning.
And while we pride ourselves on delivering the care you require; we’re equally as committed to listening to your preferences so that we do things just as you’d do them yourself. So if, for example, you like your glassware washed by hand and left to air dry, we’re not going to pop your best tumblers in the dishwasher when you’re not looking! It may sound like a little thing, but it’s your home and your wishes and values count.
And if we’re that careful with your crystal, then you can be absolutely certain we’re going to treat you with the utmost respect…
Up close and personal
We live in Britain. Famously home to the polite and private, where people don’t like to wash their dirty linen in public, and where ‘sorry’ seems to be our national word.
When you’re used to living in a fairly reserved society, it can seem jarring to invite a stranger into your home to help manage your personal care – but the reality is that it’s a service that most people we work with require. It really is that common.
So, given how many people book our personal care packages, we thought it was about time we talked about them. We’ve therefore jotted down the answers to the questions everyone has, but nobody really wants to ask.
1. What exactly is personal care, and how ‘personal’ does it get?
It depends on what you need, but can include anything and everything from helping brush your teeth to bathing and dressing. We can change incontinence pads, help you on the toilet, change and launder your bed sheets, help keep wounds clean and dry following surgery, or give you a shave. Literally, whatever you need, we’re there for you.
Throughout, we’ll follow your lead. So if, for example, you tell us you’d like help getting safely into the bath, would like your back washed but would prefer to bathe certain areas yourself, then that’s exactly what we’ll do. In our view, personal services should be just that – personal. We don’t follow a one-size-fits-all approach.
2. I’d feel uncomfortable having a stranger help me. How do the other people you work for get over that?
The first thing to point out is that a stranger isn’t going to be giving you a bath. We plan our rotas so that you see the same friendly faces shift in, shift out. If there’s someone you don’t gel with, we won’t assign them to your care. And no one is going to help you in the bathroom until you’ve built a rapport with them, and you feel comfortable in their company.
Secondly, it will probably feel a little awkward at first, and may require some adjustment, but most people find it gets easier over time. It may help to remember that all of our carers are professionals, so being in their capable hands shouldn’t be that different to being with a nurse or a doctor.
3. Will my Wellbeing Support Worker see me naked?
At BelleVie, we want to help you retain your independence with no loss of dignity. So if, for instance, you’re nervous about slipping in the bathroom but feel confident washing yourself, your Wellbeing Support Worker can help you in and out of the shower then look away while you’re in there.
However, if we’re honest, there likely will be times when they see you with no clothes on. But, as we said earlier, our Wellbeing Support Workers are professionals, and just like doctors and nurses, they’re used to seeing us at our most vulnerable.
Obviously, they’re rigorously trained, but we recruited them because of their natural compassion and empathy, and each one of them will go out of their way to respect your boundaries at all times.
4. Can I ask for only men or only women to provide my personal care services?
Yes! You’re in charge, so you can specify whatever you want. We’ve already said this, but we’ll say it again anyway.
5. Will decisions be made about my personal care, without my input?
No. At BelleVie, we will unfailingly respect your wishes whilst safeguarding your dignity, privacy and boundaries. We’ll devise your personalised Care Plan to your specifications, and revise it as needed with your full input and sign off.
6. How do I know I can trust your staff?
We follow a robust recruitment process, which includes the DBS checks you’d expect, and our services are regulated by the Care Quality Commission. We recently won four awards at the 2023 Home Care Awards, and we were recognised as one of the top 20 Home Care Groups in the UK in 2022. But our biggest commendation is that the people we work with want to book us time and time again – attesting to our high-standards and to the genuine relationships they build with our Wellbeing Support Workers.
Ready to chat?
If you’d like to stay in your home but need support to do so, then the thought of handing over aspects of your personal care and hygiene may have felt like a bit of a barrier. Hopefully this blog will have reassured you that:
- many people use personal care
- BelleVie offers a service that’s as compassionate as it is professional, and as personalised as it is personal
- you’ve really no reason to feel embarrassed about needing a little help from trained care providers
Still have questions, or ready to discuss making a booking? Contact us today for a no-obligation chat.