A TYNEDALE-BASED home care company has shared its plans as part of the phased return to pre-lockdown life.

Home Instead Senior Care Tyne Valley opened its doors just before the first national lockdown last year and has recently marked its first birthday.

Now, plans are afoot to see the business, which has its base in Hexham, become a bigger part of the wider community.

Owner Heather Hughes said the company, which specialises in providing person-centred care for older people in their own homes, was considering taking out a market stall to be used as a drop-in service for families to discuss age-related problems, care or any other questions they may have – in a socially-distanced manner.

“A lot of people can’t access services because they’re not available,” she said. “They’re doing things online but someone who hasn’t got wifi or the facilities or knowledge, then they’re not getting any support or help at all.

“Sometimes if the person they’re trying to support is in the house with them, they don’t always want to talk about it or maybe they’re just having a bad day and want to offload everything.”

The company is also involved in a national campaign being run alongside Alan Titchmarsh’s ‘Love Your Garden’ to encourage people to get involved with the outdoors in some way.

And while the pandemic has hindered regular face-to-face-contact, the team has stayed well connected via regular check-in calls on Zoom and with ‘Inspirational Monday’ and ‘Funny Friday’ social media content. Caregivers also communicate via app when with clients to discuss their care and life, as well as regular phone calls.

Having delivered a high-quality level of service – in a pandemic no less – the team is also looking to expand.

“We’re looking for the right sort of people”, added Heather. “So if anyone local is looking to make a difference and wants to share their heart, we’re really looking for caring and dedicated people and they don’t have to have done care before.”

The current team includes former reception workers and people from national companies. Heather said: “They’ve never done care but they’ve taken to it like a duck to water. The clients feel as if they are in experienced hands. There are lots of reasons for people to come into care.”