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Family with elderly mother who wants to independently at home in Collingham finally finds personal assistant support

A family looking for help to allow their elderly mother to live independently in her own home says the information they needed was not readily available.

But Mrs Audrey Lloyd, 93, who lives in a bungalow in Collingham, is now helped by a personal assistant whose details they finally found on a little-known register.

Kirsty Giles, of Balderton, is on an approved list of personal assistants that is tucked away within the Nottinghamsire County Council website. It is called nottshelpyourself.org.uk, which the Lloyd family did not know existed.

Mrs Audrey Lloyd, 93, of Collingham, with her personal assistant Kirsty Giles. 030220DD2-4
Mrs Audrey Lloyd, 93, of Collingham, with her personal assistant Kirsty Giles. 030220DD2-4

They believe there are probably many more people in a similar situation, who could be helped if they knew where to look.

They came across the personal assistants register in the council’s care and support services directory, which is updated regularly.

Mrs Lloyd’s son, Mr Geoff Lloyd, said: “To allow mum to remain independent and live in her bungalow, the family decided she would need extra support.

“An element of that support was to employ Kirsty as a personal assistant. Through the past few months we have been able to work closely with Kirsty to personalise the support and work as a team.

“This has resulted in mum actively living in her bungalow, with family members able to spend extended periods of time with her in familiar surroundings”

Kirsty has worked in the care sector for many years, but joined the personal assistant register only last summer.

She can help with a range of things, including support with activities, cleaning, companionship, help with work or study, transport, healthcare, cooking, and personal care and hygiene.

She is trained and security checked, which was important to the Lloyd family.

“This was comforting because we could employ a fully-trained carer with all the correct prerequisites in place,” Mr Lloyd said.

Although Kirsty usually works five days a week, for three or four hours a day, she and the family adopt a flexible approach.

“This is one of the many strengths of working with a personal assistant,” Mr Lloyd said. “Together we can review the week ahead and modify things according to the commitments of both mum and the wider family.”

Mrs Lloyd said she appreciated having Kirsty around to help her and keep her company during the day.

“I am lucky that my family are all very good, but I don’t like to worry them with things when they are at work,” she said.

The pair like having a chat, playing dominoes, making birthday cards, looking through old photographs, and listening and singing along to favourite music. Mrs Lloyd also enjoys watching sport on the television.

“She is such a lovely lady to work for. I am very lucky,” Kirsty said.

Mrs Lloyd’s daughter, Mrs Deborah Bessell, said: “Kirsty has been wonderful, but when we were looking for help, the information was not readily available.

“We have educated ourselves as we have gone along.”

Kirsty said she had found the register was little-known. She only found out about it herself through a friend.

“Even the surgery in the village didn’t know about it,” she said.

“If Audrey had not had her lovely family to help her, how would she have found it by herself?”

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