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“I have more time to spend on myself”

Leah is 24 years old and lives with her mum and sister in East Sussex. Leah was born with Rett syndrome which is a genetic condition which disrupts growth and development. Leah has learning difficulties and epilepsy. The family have been under a direct payment supported by HomeCareDirect since 2012 – “I love it” said Leah’s mum, Karen. “It’s the best thing that’s ever happened. You’re in control and so it’s not just anyone coming in and looking after your child. I also have more freedom so I’m able to have a bit more of a life – it literally keeps you going”

When Leah’s mum contacted HomeCareDirect, she was the sole carer for Leah. They received a small direct payment which was used to pay for 4 nights per month of respite at a local centre. We listened to how the family wanted to improve their situation. Leah’s mum wanted to be able to arrange respite more flexibly and wanted a stable team of carers for Leah so they could build a relationship with her.

We were delighted to be able to help and set about supporting Leah and Karen to choose their own carers. She chose the best carers from the respite centre and approached them with the offer of doing additional hours for Leah at home. They agreed and HomeCareDirect began the process of completing the legal aspects of employment so that Leah could employ her own carers, leaving HomeCareDirect with the employer, training and insurance responsibilities.

Today, we are pleased to say that Leah’s mum is delighted with their new arrangement. Leah has a small, dedicated group of assistants that come into her home to support her. They work alongside her mum to provide all Leah’s daily support and personal care. There is continuity of care for Leah and flexibility for Leah’s mum with regard to arranging respite – “I would recommend it to anyone – for instance, one evening I just needed to get out for a couple of hours for a break. The carer came round and took over, just for a couple of hours. I came back feeling stronger just for having a short break”

Would you recommend HomeCareDirect to other people on a direct payment?

“Oh yes! I do recommend HomeCareDirect all the time.”

What are the disadvantages of having a direct payment?

“Absolutely none at all”

We would like to extend our warmest wishes and thanks to Leah, her family and her carers.