EXCLUSIVE: New Caremark branch launches befriending service to tackle loneliness


A new home care provider based in Hertfordshire is preparing to launch a free, weekly telephone befriending service that matches support workers with clients.

The team at Caremark East Hertfordshire and Broxbourne, which registered with the CQC in May 2018, is hoping that the new Time to Talk service will promote social inclusion and tackle loneliness.

The campaign is being launched on the back of Age UK findings that 1.9 million older people feel ignored or invisible and 3.6 million older people in the UK live alone, of whom 2 million are aged 75 and older.

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The provider hopes its 15 minute weekly calls will make all the difference to its clients’ lives.

“We did a lot of research and we noticed that a lot of people weren’t interacting with people as much as they should be doing, in between care visits,” managing director Sareet Shah told Home Care Insight.

“We thought if we could introduce this service it would hopefully improve their well-being,” he added.

“It also benefits our care workers, as we pay them to make these calls when they haven’t got appointments, so it works out really well.”

Time to Talk matches clients with carers who have similar interests and personalities.

“We already know a lot about our clients anyway because our care packages are quite detailed,” said Shah. “But we have chatted to our clients about what interests them – so it could be history or art – and matched them with our carers.”

Caremark East Hertfordshire and Broxbourne was established by Shah and his wife Priya Desai, whose father had received end of life care in the home.

“Seeing the importance of quality care in our own home first hand and the impact this had both on my late father and my family, drove my husband and I to starting up our own personal home care business,” said Desai.

“Speaking from my own experience, sadly the reality is that this is a distress service and people only call on such services when they or their loved ones are at their most vulnerable. Our goal is to take the stress of this away from our service users through ensuring that they receive an exceptional service that delivers on all levels. It is our mission to provide a personal care at home service we would be proud of and happy for any of our own family members to use.”

Tags : CaremarklonelinessTime to Talk
Sarah Clarke

The author Sarah Clarke

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