Martin's story

Martin was born in Wales in 1926. He was married twice, but never had any children. His first wife left him shortly after they got married and when he found love of his life Betty, he was 44 years old. During Second World War, Martin age 17 was actively involved in supporting Royal Air Force, however never liked talking about War times, and preferred to keep them away from his mind.

Martin worked at HSBC, where he met his late wife. He retired when he was in his mid-sixty and devoted his time and passion for an allotment based in Norbury, which for not once won the prize for ‘Best Plot Competition’.

When Betty was diagnosed with Dementia, Martin became her carer and looked after his wife until late 2016, when he could no longer support and protect his wife due to her well-advanced Dementia.

Martin struggled with Betty’s illness and many times said, that the day she could not recognize him nor talk to him, was the saddest day of his life. With Betty’s rapid Dementia progression, Martin stopped visiting her at the Care Home, where she later passed.

As Martin's health started to deteriorate, mostly due to his age, he arranged for a private carer to support him from time to time.

Martin and Registered Manager Maggie
Client Martin with Right at Home Mitcham's Registered Manager Maggie

How did Right at Home Mitcham work with Martin?

One of the most vital facts about Martin was his kind and huge heart. Martin could never ignore people’s personal problems and would try his best to help them. 

During our first visits Caregivers observed Martin eating toast for his breakfast and when offered to wash his dishes, we was surprised that such service was provided. Martin later confessed that previous carer did not agree to wash up, clean or cook, and the support she was providing involved companionship and shopping trips only.

Week after week, our Caregivers learnt more about Martin’s likes and dislikes. When one morning Caregiver offered cooked breakfast, Martin’s eyes lit up, yet still in disbelieve he said, “If that would not cause too much problem, I would love to have some eggs and bacon”. That morning there were no eggs or bacon in the house, so our carer kindly offered to buy some to prepare the breakfast Martin was longing for.

Ever since that day, until the very last day of our support we have provided to our late Martin, his breakfast was always cooked for him and his favourite eggs with bacon were served daily. Martin enjoyed support from Right at Home, and with his Caregivers, they have developed good relationship.

At the beginning of July 2019, we started to support Martin on a daily basis, providing three visits a day. Within days of staring our increased support, Martin realised how much he needed our support. Previous falls, heart failure, age, frailty left him less able to do tasks he used to complete independently. 

Our observations and visits from Registered Manager left us worried, as despite our increased support, Martin tried to walk when nobody was around and sadly again had a fall. Martin's safety was at risk and to enable him to stay at home, 24/7 support was needed. When we all met to discuss live in support, MH strongly declined, however as this was the only option left for him to remain at home, he agreed to try.

How did Right at Home's care services impact Martin?

Martin was introduced to his live in carer and interviewed her with his next of kin present. Martin, his new live in carer, had an extensive experience and knowledge in supporting elderly people and provided live in services in the past, with most of them until the person’s passing.

Our live-in carer knew that Martin was reluctant to have someone strange living with him, therefore transition into ‘New life’ was filled with compassion, understanding and patience. Martin always liked ‘me time’ and our carer respected his wishes leaving Martin on his own in his living room, where he would read his ‘Daily Mail’ and have a nap before having his lunch.

Registered manager often visited Martin and his live in carer. Feedback received about Martin care, was always honest and full of complements. One day, during my visit Martin said ‘I don’t know how I could live without [RaH carer] my life has a meaning now, it is peaceful and I am happy’. My visits were planned at various times of the day, this would give me better picture of the support our carer was providing to Martin, and often after lunch I would find Martin reading and our carer sitting next to him knitting.

Martin, lonely widower, who loved his own company, was now enjoying presence of his carer being next to him. When I visited in the evening, both of them were in TV room, where our carer would join Martin to watch his favourite programs such as ‘Master chef’, ‘Apprentice’, ‘Dragons Den’ or ‘University Challenge’. During my visits we all joined on the conversation about latest episodes, and I could feel, how much our carer's company meant to him.

During his last birthday this year, my visit was later that usual. I was finishing crocheting his blanket and arrived later than I normally did. Despite my visits being a surprise, never planned, over the years became a norm to Martin and in silence he was patiently waiting. When I arrived for his birthday in February this year, Martin said to me ‘I knew you will come, however you are late this year,’ this statement meant a lot to us, as it proved that Right at Home and our support meant a lot to him and Martin always waited to see  us…                                            

Review from his Nephew, are the best testimony to Martin's happiness he has shared with his beloved ones:

"…My uncle has been using Right at Home (Mitcham Streatham & Dulwich) for a few years now, he has a live in carer. The service provided is excellent, my Uncle is in his nineties and prior to using Right at Home (Mitcham Streatham & Dulwich) services he was frequently in hospital and then short stay care homes. He is so much better and happier now with the excellent support he receives, which has enabled him to be where he is happiest, in his own home. It has given me complete peace of mind knowing that he is now being cared for as I would wish. All the staff that I have met and had dealings with from carers, managers to directors have all been kind, caring and very efficient. It has been a pleasure meeting them and to do business with them. I would have no reservations at all in thoroughly recommending Right at Home (Mitcham Streatham & Dulwich)."


How we used this experience to drive improvements across the service

Changes in our lives are often filled with worries and questions. Not many people are open to sudden change, accepting ‘New Ways of Living, especially when they have lived independent life for many, many years. Transition into ‘New Life’ can be stressful, and more when suddenly stranger we don’t know, enters our house to live and care for us from now on.

Right at Home Mitcham Streatham and Dulwich does not only provide support to people. We live their worries, and as much as possible we try to feel and understand them and we employ only the best carers, which are carefully selected during the interview process. Before any caregiver starts to support new client, they are being introduced and interviewed by our clients and their beloved ones, so that very first visit does not come as a surprise, sleepless night before, anxiety and potential refusal.

Caregivers preferences are always being taken into consideration and always asked when assessment is taking place. It may happen that religious or language needs are not always being met as hoped for, but carers are carefully chosen to support their client as best as they can. Supervised visits are conducted regularly during which, we can observe interaction between carer and their client, obtain honest feedback and make suggestions or if necessary, offer replacement of the carer if no connection and interaction is being observed.