Laura Jones, is a 49 year old mother, a successful entrepreneur and Managing Director of Caremark Mid Surrey. Driven by her own personal experiences of caring for family, Laura tells Care Talk about what inspired her to go into the sector, why Caremark Mid Surrey are excited about introducing new practices and their approach to staying focused on clients needs.
I was born in London, but my parents and I moved to Kent. After studying Business Studies, my first role was looking after ICI’s Pension Funds, in London. Later, I went on to work for some high profile Asset Management companies, then as a Senior Operations Director, Partner and Chief Operating Officer in some key start-up businesses.
I’ve always had a desire to have my own business, and it was my experience caring for my grandparents who had Alzheimer’s Disease, and my Mother during her struggle with cancer, that eventually led me to realise a care business was a natural fit, aswell as being something close to my heart. I would then be able to ensure people would be supported to remain living independently and comfortably, for as long as possible in their own homes and to be treated with kindness and respect; something I have always been very passionate about.
After my grandparents were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease, my father and I spent as much time as possible supporting them, visiting often, and running chores. I wanted to do anything I could to give them the best care and help them to stay in their own homes as long as possible. Although we all did whatever we could we couldn’t be there around the clock, and so following a stay in hospital for them both, they eventually moved into a residential home.
We found a home that we liked that had facilities for couples to stay together. The care home was lovely, but they didn’t give lots of one on one time. I remember feeling how it was so easy to treat everybody the same way and to forget the person within.
I worry care about the future quality of care. This is why I’m so committed to ensuring that excellent home care and support options are accessible. I really believe that it is the solution to much of the current crisis and crucially is, more often than not, the best option for the individual too.
At Caremark Mid Surrey we are so passionate about how our clients are treated. We work closely with each family to ensure we get to know as much as we can about each person to deliver person centred care. We understand that family members are often concerned about letting their loved one down, and are hesitant to ask for help, they need people who understand, can signpost and support.
We’re also really excited about our current introduction of Namaste Care™ practices…Namaste Care™ was designed to improve the quality of life for people with advanced dementia.
The program provides activities that help provide sensory stimulation and evoke warm memories to people with advanced dementia or any other physical or mental impairments. The personal care is combined with gentle physical exercise to keep limbs flexible, along with regular opportunities to eat and drink, so that those with a reduced appetite have more opportunities to do so. The continuous hydration alone, decreases, and in some cases eliminates, conditions such as UTI’s.
Much of this is just basic good practice, but integrating it with other activities and a general approach to care, acts as a reminder and a focus for genuine and holistic, person centred ethos. I’m always reminding the team of our core principles and we only bring in new team members who align with those. As such, I have the most amazing team delivering excellent care and support and the proof, as they say, is in the pudding, as we regularly receive compliments from our staff, clients and their families – something we are very proud of!