“Well … what took you so long?”

Christies Care carer, Denise McCrory, has shared her story about being a live-in carer with us. From her initial decision to become a carer, deciding that Christies was the care company for her, the application process, preparing for and travelling to the UK, her initial few weeks through to finding the perfect client, Denise has told us all. Over the next few months we’ll be sharing her story starting with Chapter 1: Deciding to become a carer.

I remember the day, over five years ago now, when I decided to do something about all the elderly residents that were getting shipped off to hospitals and old aged homes that were a two hour drive from the village in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa that they had known all their lives.

Question: Why can’t they stay where they are?  Why do they have to give up their homes, their pets, their friends, their church, their bridge nights?

Answer: No hospital close by. Only one doctor who travels one week in four. A local clinic where the wait can take 8 hours to see a nurse and which has no doctor in residence.

Sorry but those are excuses, not solutions!

So I started caring. I got trained by a local South African company and, after five months, became a trainer – training the employees of the elderly in my village to help them look after their employers.

Who better to know if Mrs. J is becoming forgetful than her housekeeper who knows her routine and the days she plays bridge. Who better than the gardener, who has been helping Mr. S with the planting, to recognise something may be broken should Mr. S fall over in the potato patch.

Before long the training expanded to include locals in the more rural areas who were now able to get employment by working for those very same village families helping them to keep their elderly folk at home. And then I was approached to train care staff in a new Assisted Living home that was being built for the elderly in my village.

My work in the village had shown one wonderful couple that a home for the elderly was needed, so they decided to convert their B&B to a full time residential care home. Wow!

My job was done. A dream come true for me! To see that whilst some residents may not be able to live in their own homes any more, they are still living in their beloved village, visited by friends and family alike.

And then I officially retired. Our decision to move from South Africa back to Northern Ireland had been on the cards for some time. The pleasure I took in working with and helping our local villagers, both employer and employee alike, motivated me to find an agency in the UK that matched my own ideals. And through the personal recommendations of friends, I found Christies Care.”

So, as I begin my story, I first want to send a HIGH FIVE to Pam Hart at Christies Care in Cape Town!

South Africans – there is where your journey starts and no question is too big or too small for this wonderful lady!

Note: We have recently added 2 more wonderful ladies to our ZA recruitment team.

Coming soon:

In Chapter 2, Denise talks about the application process and preparing for her new caring adventure in the UK.