Patsy Philpott, our Recruitment and Compliance Manager, tells us about her dad Ronnie, who will be 90 in July.
“Daddy, as I still call him, was a very intelligent man with a great technical mind. He led the team that installed the first computer in Ireland. He built me a radio when I was a child. He installed a central heating system in our house before there was central heating. He had a very sharp mind.”
Today, Ronnie resides happily in a nursing home in Co. Meath, or in his holiday apartment as he considers it, due to early stage dementia.
For a long time, Patsy says, family members and carers looked after Ronnie.
“Daddy stayed with my brother and his wife during the week. My brother worked full time and was often overseas for work so the bulk of the care fell to my sister-in-law, who did a great job. My sister and I – who also works full time – cared for Daddy during alternate weekends. We booked professional carers too. They had tremendous experience in caring for older people with dementia and they also looked after Daddy’s personal care – this was of great importance to use as we did not want to shower of dress him ourselves in order to preserve his dignity.
“We were all doing our best for our beloved Dad, but there came a time when the Public Health Nurse said that Daddy needed a stable routine. Moving around between our 3 houses was not ideal. We could not keep it going. So a family decision was made, with Daddy, to move him to a nursing home.”
“Daddy is very happy in the nursing home, but obviously it is a worrying time for the family. Although there is no Covid in the nursing home and even though he is nearly 90, he is still very precious
He likes sweet things so I dropped some biscuits down to the nursing home at the weekend. It was very hard to walk away without seeing him. I know lots of other families are going through the same thing.”
Other staff members in Private HomeCare have similar stories. “To us, we always see our clients as people. It is very important to me that Daddy is still a person who had a full and responsible life. That can never be forgotten. He is always at the back of my mind.”
How Does Your Personal Experience Affect Your Role As Recruitment Manager in Private HomeCare?
When I interview prospective carers, I always think ‘is this the person I would want dealing with my father ?’ Would they give him the respect he deserves ? Are they kind ? Or would they just see him as an old person ?
How Has the Virus Affected Interviewing Carers ?
Like many businesses, we have had to move some of our services online. Due to the sensitivity of having a carer in your own, home it is a HSE requirement to hold face to face interviews with applicants. Since the virus hit, I now interview via video rather than in person. Telephone interviews only are not sufficient. As Recruitment and Compliance Manager, I have to confirm that the person I interviewed matches official photo ID presented for Garda vetting. This means producing photo identity such as a passport or driving licence.
Personally, I find it easier to make a connection with people via video than the phone.
I like to reassure applicants that video interviewing is new for me too. Yesterday a candidate was unsure about the video technology. It is my job to put interviewees at ease. I sent her the link to click and said, don’t panic. I am not a technical guru. We will muddle through this together. And we did. And she will be a terrific carer if she passes Garda vetting and reference checks and completes the required training. I would be happy for her to care for Daddy”.
From the editor : Huge thanks to Patsy for opening up on her family’s personal experience.