Providing home care in North Yorkshire’s rural communities

Offering home care in North Yorkshire is never dull: every day presents a new challenge or opportunity.

From our head office in Harrogate, we cover a relatively urban area, which means tackling traffic (or skipping through it on our electric bikes!) and caring for people in a fairly large community.

For our satellite office in Settle, the challenges are rather different, as deputy manager Suzanne Sunderland explains...

From our Settle office, we cover a large area, from Hellifield and Gargrave in the south up to Burton in Lonsdale on the Lancashire border. While the carers in Harrogate are facing traffic, we’re driving around little country roads. The worst we face is tractors and sheep – although we do have to think about bad weather in the winter, too.

Some of our carers aren’t drivers, so we pair them up with those who are. They get to know each other well as they’re going around seeing clients. Once they make friends, it works really nicely, and the clients get good continuity of care.

Continued Care offers home care in North Yorkshire from its Settle and Harrogate bases.

I think that’s one of the most interesting things about providing home care in North Yorkshire around a rural area: often, we’re working in small communities, and the carers live in those communities too. A lot of our carers have worked with us for years, so they’re a familiar face around the villages and towns. In many cases, the carers are people the clients know through friends or family members, which helps them to feel at ease. It’s that sense of people in the community looking after each other. If you know someone knew your dad from working with him years ago, it’s something to talk about as well.

We have about 60 clients being cared for by staff based at our Settle office. Many of them don’t see people very often – if they live remotely and can’t get out and about easily, the carer may be the only person they see on a regular basis. We do a lot of companionship here – calling in for half an hour or more to have a chat, make a cup of tea, and offer a friendly face and a listening ear to someone who might otherwise be very lonely.

One thing that makes the Settle office very different from Harrogate is that we also have a shop here, selling mobility aids, continence products and wheelchair accessories. It’s run jointly by all of us in the office – whoever is in jumps up when we hear the door – so we can use our experience of working as carers to help people find the right products for their loved ones.

We do get quite a few of our clients calling in for supplies, but we also have customers from the wider community. More often than not, we have a good chat with them about what they need, and if we’re able to help them get access to other services and support, we do that too.

A few months ago, we had a lady call in who was caring for her elderly parents. Her mum was just about to be discharged from hospital and she and her sisters were going to care for her, but they had no idea where to start. Most people have no experience of caring for someone or accessing help and support, so it can be really overwhelming.

Suddenly, this lady was in tears. I made her a cup of tea and had a long chat with her, then I advised her to speak to her GP and get referred for additional support. A few weeks later she came back to say her mum was out of hospital and at home, and after seeing the GP they had managed to access the right services to support them.

Just the other day, she came back in to the shop. She told me her dad had sadly passed away, but she wanted to thank me for my advice because it had made the last few months of her dad’s life so much easier and better for all of them.

That’s one of the best things about working in the shop, and around Settle: it’s not just about the clients we’re caring for, but about our role in the community. All our carers do a fantastic job. They get to know the clients and their needs – we often find ourselves at home wondering how Mrs Smith got on with her hospital appointment, whether Mr Jones has heard back from the GP yet, or even if Mrs Parker’s new grandchild has been born yet.

People know they can rely on us. Our carers are trusted and depended upon by the people they see every day and there’s so much value in the work they do. I’m always proud to tell people I work for Continued Care.

To contact Continued Care's Settle office, click here.

How to find us

Harrogate Office

4 Grove Park Court
Grove Park Terrace
Harrogate
HG1 4DP
Contact Branch 01423 871003
Settle Office

High Street
Settle
BD24 9EX

Contact Branch 01729 810600