There is nothing more frustrating in times of need than going through a switchboard and being directed to somebody who doesn’t know you or your loved one. You’re left having to explain details that you’ve explained so many times before, while you’re in what could be a crisis situation.
And even if it’s not a crisis situation, having to do this is incredibly impersonal, and the opposite of what Plan with Care strives to provide. We want the family and friends of the people we support to be able to pick up the phone and talk directly, on first name terms, to the person who knows their loved one and situation personally, and in detail. No need to repeat any information – the conversation can start straight away about the issue in hand.
That’s why our Care and Wellbeing Membership includes out-of-hours support. This is how it works:
Weekdays: 8am–8pm – contacting us during these times doesn’t have to be for emergencies. We have extended normal operating hours so that you can contact us outside of your normal working hours. This relieves the pressure of having to take time out of the working day or losing lunch breaks to sort out important issues for your loved one.
Weekends: 10am–4pm, by appointment – sometimes the weeks are just too busy when you’re handling work and caring for a loved one. So we can arrange weekend meetings by appointment if necessary.
Promoting wellbeing and preventing burnout
A high proportion of vulnerable people move into care homes due to the fact that their primary caregiver (often a family member) has burnt out. Caregiver burnout is a recognised condition that sees the health of family and friends suffer due to the immense pressure of trying to do everything for their loved one. They become the person that provides hands-on care, looks after the person’s safety, deals with administration and tries to coordinate the many services needed to ensure their loved one is looked after.
Over the years, we have heard so many people say they just want to be a daughter, a husband, a sister, a friend again… instead of being all these other things to the person who is so important in their life.
This is why Plan with Care has made sure that support isn’t only available 9am–5pm. By doing this, we improve the wellbeing of the family member or friend, who is then in a much better place to support their loved one. The ultimate result is that mental and physical health is protected and quality of life is enhanced for all concerned – not just the vulnerable person we are supporting.
Practical solutions and peace of mind
Being available out of hours provides a range of practical solutions and also peace of mind. The family and friends of the people we support use our extended hours in a number of ways…
To ask a niggling question. We would much rather you contacted us to ask a question than put it off and a situation that could have been easily solved suddenly turns into a crisis.
To get reassurance. Sometimes you just need an expert, who knows your relative or friend, on the end of the phone to give you their professional opinion. This alone can change everything and reduce stress and anxiety immensely.
To be a proxy supervisor for your loved one’s carers. This is where we field calls for you. We can be the first call for carers – so, instead of calling you, they call us. We’ll contact you if we need to, but often we can help without doing so. This is an especially practical solution if you live out of the area, but also when you just need some time to switch off.
To handle follow-up calls. Coordinating all the different services needed for a vulnerable loved one can be exhausting. We can do this, as well as follow up on them, and then report everything back to you at a time to suit you. This leaves you free to get on with your daily life.
In everything we do, we want to be proactive rather than reactive. So many services these days are under-resourced and only respond in a reactive way, when the crisis has already happened. We truly believe that offering extended operating hours helps us be more proactive in ensuring the best quality of life and care, and to avoid crisis situations for your loved one… and you.
If you would like to book a complimentary 30-minute call to talk to us more about our services, then just get in touch.