Working life: Rachel Scanlon, co-founder of Castle Homecare

7.30am
I drop my daughter Eve, 2, to the childminder before heading for the office in Ballinteer. It’s a half-hour commute from my home in Brittas, south Co Dublin.

9am

After checking emails, I touch base with colleagues to see how clients fared overnight. 

We’re a private company with a close working relationship with the HSE and our care managers link in regularly with their multidisciplinary team — occupational therapists, physiotherapists, social workers and public health nurses. We keep the lines of communication open which benefits everyone.

9.30am

I’ve a weekly company meeting to see how homecare packages are working out and to discuss new cases. Our care managers link in with family members and the client to see what their expectations are. People use care in different ways. 

Some need a hand getting up in the morning, others require care around-the-clock. We offer everything from companionship to meal preparation, light housekeeping, personal care and dementia care.

12 noon

I meet with the office manager to discuss improvements to our database. 

We deliver homecare packages to circa 150 elderly people in Dublin on behalf of the HSE, so good record-keeping is essential — details of Garda vetting, staff training etc. We employ a team of approximately 100 carers.

1pm

Lunchtime. I’m pregnant with our second child so it’s nice to get a bit of fresh air.

2pm

A lot of our clients are local, so I sometimes pop in for a chat. When myself and Christine King founded the company in 2010, our ethos was to provide the care we’d like our own parents to receive. 

My interest sprang from caring for a family friend while Christine worked in homecare in Australia and was inspired by how well they do it.

4pm

I familiarise myself with developments in the homecare sector. Currently, the Government is looking at extending Fair Deal to include homecare. 

We would welcome this development, however, we’d like to see further information on the proposed guidelines and framework for homecare. 

Will it be regulated in line with HIQA standards and how will carers be resourced for the scheme?

5.30pm

Home to spend time with Eve and my partner Kevin.

Rachel Scanlon, co-founder of Castle Homecare, private homecare provider


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