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Few of us want to admit that we're slowing down, let alone ask for help, but it's difficult to argue against the benefits of having a little support and companionship at home to make life easier and happier.
Home Helpers can offer friendship and support with tasks that can build up and become increasingly tricky to do on your own, like housework, shopping and chores. It's the social aspect of having help with these jobs that can offer a lifeline; it’s having somebody there to have a chat to at home or to go out-and-about with, share the small stuff with over a cup of tea.
Don't fall into the trap of waiting until crisis point before seeking support at home. As we become less able we still want to have as good a life as possible for as long as possible, so why not look to extend your independence with a Home Helper.
Close to Hand was set up in Tunbridge Wells because the founder recognised that there was a real gap in providing support for independent older people in their own homes before they need advanced care. We understand that it's having somebody local to 'pop-in' for a chat and to assist with everyday tasks like collecting a prescription, taking the dog for a walk or helping you get on top of your paperwork that would make a difference to your day.
Close to Hand is different to other care agencies in Tunbridge Wells; in fact, it isn’t a care agency at all, but an online community that enables you to build a network of local contacts who can support you or your loved one. Begin by viewing the Home Helpers listed in your area by typing ‘Tunbridge Wells’ into the search box below. To see their full profiles you will need to first register with the site.
It may be that you want regular, long term help on set days each week or you just require short term help following surgery or an pair of extra hands now and again. In each case you can post a job advert on the Close to Hand website giving as much detail as possible as to what help you need and when. Connect with as many Home Helpers as you like through the site – you may find that you prefer to have several people calling in, each able to help with different tasks. For example, if you’d like a Home Helper to cook for you and do the gardening, but you can’t find an individual to do both, then you can approach more than one person or post several different job adverts.
Close to Hand is an online community that connects you with local people who can lend a helping hand. We make it easy to arrange practical help and companionship at the same time as enabling local people to find flexible work with a purpose. In our experience, it's smiles all round.
The level of help received can be agreed between you and your preferred helper, using the online secure messaging service, whether it’s daily, once a week or on an ad-hoc basis. Close to Hand Home Helpers set their own availability and their own hourly rate which can be found on their profiles; this is typically between £8-£12 per hour making it an affordable and flexible option.
Once you have registered you can browse local helper profiles. If you wish to connect directly with one or some of the helpers in your area you will need to upgrade to our Premium membership. We operate a simple subscription service at £12 per month. You have complete control over your membership and payments and can switch it off at any time, or once you have made a connection. If you need the service again in the future you can simply re-instate your membership.
If you would rather wait to see who is available before upgrading then you can post a job advert for free detailing your requirements. Once your job is live on our site, an automatic notification will be sent out to all the helpers in your local community. If your job is of interest, helpers can send you a message via our secure message service. In order to view and respond to this message you will need to upgrade to our Premium membership.
For more information about financial support that may be available to your parents: https://www.ageuk.org.uk/information-advice/care/paying-for-care/paying-for-homecare/
Just as we choose our friends, perhaps the most important aspect of selecting the right Tunbridge Wells Home Help is personality and shared interests. If you are looking for help for your parents, be sure to include their hobbies and what they love doing most in life, in the job advert. Care agencies, which many people still assume are their only option, rarely enable you to choose your own carer.
Home Helpers can act as a valuable link to the outside world and enable your loved ones continued enjoyment in the things in life important to them, at the same time allowing you peace of mind that someone is there for them. In a Which? survey of 1,449 people aged 40-60 carried out in September 2017, more than a third (36%) said they worry about looking after or arranging care for elderly relatives. Another study by the Care Quality Commission concluded that care decisions for parents was as stressful event as divorce, death and moving house.
Many members of this so called ‘sandwich generation’ [link to blog] say they feel guilty that they can never give enough of themselves to the people who need them. This is where Close to Hand can really make a difference to lighten the load –a simple way for you to establish a local support network for an ageing parent.
For more information, read our blog post on The sandwich generation, caring for both parents and children
“I chose Amelia, and have found her good, hardworking and reliable. Our backgrounds have given us quite a lot in common, and we have an easy relationship.”
Teresa, Tunbridge Wells, Kent
“Scouring the internet we came across Close to Hand and were impressed from the moment we joined. The process is simple and user friendly and the responses we’ve had have been wonderful. We have a fabulous helper for our mum now and we couldn’t be happier.”
Gail, Tunbridge Wells, Kent
“I am more than happy to recommend “Close to Hand”. So far we have used three ladies who we have found on this website. They come to sit with our mother, who suffers from dementia, for a few hours while the full-time carer takes her break. As they live “close to hand” they are happy to come just for a couple of hours when we need them. They have all been very pleasant, competent people and mother has been happy to be with them. Having several ladies on the website means that we always have a choice and the possibility of finding someone available when we need them. The website is straight forward and easy to use.”
Alexandra, Tunbridge Wells, Kent