Caring for senior citizens who are living at home has never been more important, says Deirdre Murray of Home Instead Senior Care, Cork South and East.
Since 1994, Home Instead has been enhancing the lives of people who prefer to have the independence of living at home to living in a nursing home. The company’s services are very much in the spotlight at present.
“We help people who want to live independently, safe in the comfort of their own homes for as long as possible,” said Deirdre Murray. “We develop a care routine with our clients in their own home, perhaps taking them for a daily walk or a visit to the shops.
“Of course, things have changed with Covid-19, but we still maintain a routine that works for each of our clients. For instance, we have one client who likes to go to visit the local café at a certain hour each day. The café is closed now, but we still visit at the same time each day.”
A recent survey by The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA) found that 400,000 people in Ireland suffer from loneliness: 37% of people aged 50-plus feel lonely; with 36% of those aged 50-64; and rising to 45% for those aged 75 and older.
The Healthy Ireland Survey Summary Report 2019, found that more than half of those aged 75-plus would like to be more active in their lives. The older people get, the more sedentary their lives become.
Home Instead does all it can to ensure that its clients feel cared for in a friendly environment. The service also seeks to help clients remain as active as possible.
“Staying active can require helping a person be more confident, especially for someone who is prone to falling,” said Deirdre Murray. “Our care givers look after practical needs like pharmacy etc, but they are there to help bring happiness into the lives of our clients, reducing any sense of loneliness or isolation.
“Our role is to ensure our clients continue to live a happy and healthy life. We know that simply sitting down with someone and having a meal with them will lead to them living a longer, more contented life.”
Home Instead Senior Care offers a suite of different services, delivering one-to-one care tailored for each client’s needs.
Home Instead Senior Care has two branches servicing clients in the Cork region. Deirdre Murray manages the team of carers across the south and east.
Her colleague Mick O’Driscoll manages the Cork North region.
“We have local offices, managed locally,” said Deirdre. “It is very important to us to offer that personal touch. That really brings great peace of mind to the families of our clients.
“For instance, it really helps someone living abroad to know that they can contact us locally to chat about how their parents are getting on,” said Deirdre.
Rubicon free expert advice for startups
The Rubicon Centre, based at Cork Institute of Technology (CIT), has launched a new initiative called ‘Dial an Expert,’ to give a helping hand to potential startups.
George Bulman, operations manager at the Rubicon Centre, said: “Every Thursday morning, from 9.30am to 12.30pm, we are offering free 30-minute idea exploration slots, to budding entrepreneurs who may have a business idea but are not sure how to develop it. You can talk confidentially with a Rubicon expert and receive guidance. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, telephone number, and a 50-word outline of your business idea and we will get in touch.”
The Rubicon Centre is Ireland’s largest incubator space for entrepreneurs and start-up businesses and is now home to many of Ireland’s leading start-ups.
Banking choices continue to evolve
Manufacturing, wholesale and transport SMEs have together utilised 47% of the total €70m funding made available from the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI) to Bibby Financial Services Ireland.
Businesses operating in these three sectors have together accessed €32m in funding to date, with more financing expected to be provided as SMEs look to maintain cashflow during the Covid-19 crisis.
Mark O’Rourke, managing director at Bibby Ireland, said: “We know that SMEs are facing a range of urgent and pressing challenges, and I’d therefore urge all SMEs to consider the benefits of our range of funding services for their own business.
“As with every aspect of the fight against Covid-19, it is going to take a communal effort to come through this, and we look forward to supporting and championing the wider efforts of the Government, banks and non-bank lenders. We are all in this together.”
Since 2016, the SBCI has partnered with Bibby Financial Services Ireland to make €70m in funding available to Irish SMEs. With the major banks currently reporting overwhelming increases in credit applications, this funding can provide an immediate cash injection to SMEs, as well as the ongoing working capital required to grow and expand the business.
Nick Ashmore, CEO at SBCI, said: “We’re committed to providing greater choice to Irish businesses when it comes to their lending options, and are delighted to see such strong demand for this funding. No matter the obstacles faced by a business — be they threats to the supply chain caused by Covid-19, Brexit, or a struggle to drive growth — SBCI funding can be a valuable aid in overcoming them.”