A community-minded Fife woman has started a new company to help the elderly stay at home instead of going into care.
Rachel Doyle moved to Dunfermline 25 years ago and has spent all her life caring for those around her.
She was head of wellbeing at Strathclyde University and spent 10 years as a community counsellor.
But difficulties in finding care for her own parents led her down a different career path.
Since then Rachel has always wanted to expand the care options available to elderly people and their families.
Home Instead West Fife and Kinross is born
Lockdown gave her the opportunity to start care firm Home Instead West Fife and Kinross.
“My motivation has always been about people,” Rachel says.
“I know through my professional career, I’ve always improved people’s lives through the work I’ve done and this is an extension of that. This is part of who I am.
“The business is something I’ve thought about for the past two years.
“Lockdown gave me the headspace to really push forward with my idea.
“Working throughout lockdown took a degree of motivation to keep going.
“When you start something like this, it’s just you, but I knew that it was something I really wanted to do and that kept me going.
“If you have enough passion for something, you do find the energy.”
Home Instead West Fife and Kinross will support elderly people to help them stay living at home rather than go into residential care.
The company offers a range of non-medical services, from companionship care and home help to personal care.
The caregivers can help the elderly look after themselves, prepare meals and clean.
“Growing old can bring challenges, both for the person who is ageing and for their family,” Rachel says.
“We aim to provide relationship-led support to help people live life on their own terms in the familiar surroundings of their own home with all their treasured possessions and memories.
“We believe in personalised care delivered by caregivers who are matched with clients according to their interests, hobbies and personality.
“Our care visits are a minimum of an hour to help clients and caregivers build meaningful relationships.”
Recruiting 20 new staff this year
Rachel says: “Our five caregivers are committed, passionate people that want to give something back, so they’re a good fit for us.
“By the end of the year we’re looking to have taken on another 20.
“We’re going to get out into the community to engage with groups that we think would make really good caregivers.
“We’re not at all age restrictive. We know some of our best caregivers are in our elderly community.
“A warm heart and a genuine caring nature are the most sought-after character traits.”