Stories Case studies "This help has meant so much" In 2013, Mr C had a stroke. Already in his 80s, he required ongoing care from his wife. Mrs C got in touch with us to ask about the support that we could provide. A Care Coordinator visited the home to discuss Mr C’s needs and how we could support Mrs C as a carer. There was a strong involvement from both Mrs C and Mr C and, together with the Care Coordinator, they created a comprehensive care plan. This ensured that a Carer Support Worker visiting the family would understand Mr C’s care needs, be able to maintain his safety and wellbeing and treat him with the dignity and respect he deserved. The family decided on a regular service at home, allowing Mrs C to make time for herself outside of the house. This was initially for a regular four hours but, where possible, days and times were changed to fit around medical appointments. Their plan emphasised the need for our staff to listen to the family’s views at each visit and to respect their wishes. Some days, Mr C welcomes activities to stimulate his mind. On other days he prefers to sleep. Their service recognises this and emphasises the importance of using the right language to understand Mr C’s wishes. Choice has been an integral part of Mr and Mrs C’s service. They are the experts and know what support is required day-to-day. The family have accessed the service for several years now and it has enabled Mrs C to have some much-needed time for herself. She has been able to attend G.P appointments, visit the hairdresser, meet friends for a cuppa, and make time for walking, a hobby she has always enjoyed for herself. Mr C is now in his 90s, his health has declined, and his care needs have continued to increase. During re-assessments and reviews, we’ve discussed changes to the family’s plan, such as extending it by an additional morning and helping Mr C to use his bathroom adaptations. Mrs C has been offered support to access a Carer’s Assessment. She has declined so far but this is revisited at each review. When it is right for the family, we’ll support them to have a further Care Needs Assessment from Gateshead Council so that Mr C can access additional specialised care. Unlike many other care services, we do our best to build a relationship with our families and understand their needs. Your support ensures that our Carer Support Workers are fully trained, competent and feel confident in delivering services that work for both the carer and the person that they care for. We’re not just there for a quick call - we want to enable carers to have a life alongside their caring role.