A year after her beloved father John passed away, Joyce Hanna recalls how ALHomecare were such a vital part of her father being able to continue enjoying the comfort of his own home
Joyce Hanna’s beloved father John died last year. “He was 100 and a half,” she says. A wonderful man with a terrific spirit, he had lived by himself for almost a decade, since the loss of his beloved wife Peggy in 2013.
Initially John, a doctor, was her mother’s primary carer but as Peggy declined and needed more care, she moved into a nursing home, in 2009. “Had ALHomecare been around then, I’d have used them,” says Joyce now.
John became a widower at 91. Though Joyce visited often and called every day, she could see that over time it was becoming harder for her father to live alone.
“He didn’t need help at that stage, but he was lonely. He often said that if he didn’t have his dog, Soldier, he wouldn’t hear his own voice at all,” she says.
Joyce researched visiting home help agencies, but they didn’t suit. “There was no guarantee that the same woman would come in and, with different people coming in, he wouldn’t be the main man anymore, they’d be telling him what to do, which wouldn’t do at all,” she adds. Then she found ALHomecare, which stands for Affordable Live-in Homecare, online.
“It seemed to offer the perfect solution, including a three-week trial to ensure John and his carer were compatible. “The whole thing, from beginning to end, was a win win. It was affordable, it was good value, and the beauty of it was that if he had gone into a nursing home, he wouldn’t have been able to bring his beloved dog, Soldier,” she says.
Discovering the perfect fit
Through ALHomecare, she found a woman in her 60s from Poland, Danuta. “As soon as Dad met her, he said, “she’s the one”. They hit it off instantly and she did everything right. We called her Angel Danuta, because she was like someone who had dropped from the sky for us. She looked after Dad like I would, maybe even better,” says Joyce. Having Danuta there also meant that for her own visits, Joyce could sit and talk with her father, as Danuta had everything else under control.
The year passed happily but unfortunately, her father caught pneumonia and Covid. By the time he had recovered in hospital well enough to come home, he had lost his mobility. “Danuta organised the hospital bed for him. We put it in the sitting room, where he could look out over the garden,” she says. For Joyce, her sad loss is softened by knowing that her father was so well looked after and died peacefully at home.
“ALHomecare was really transformational for us as a family. Our father was happy and secure. Danuta gave more than 100 per cent to my father and we so appreciated her,” she says “Before I found it, I didn’t know this agency from Adam. But I recommend it now. My father had the perfect end, after the perfect final year, and I can never thank them enough.”
The live-in care specialists
Night and/or day care are available for less than the cost of a nursing home or visiting care service. As well as that, all placements come with a 3 week trial period.
The duties of the carer include housekeeping, meal preparation, companionship and personal care (if required). All carers are Garda vetted and provided with ongoing training and support throughout the placement.
To find out more about ALHomecare’s affordable live-in homecare service and avail of their 3 week trial period, visit alhomecare.ie or phone their inquiry lines: 087 991 6791 or 087 744 0729.