My name is Selina Ankle, The Founder of Immense Living. By familiarising myself with the job title of ‘carer’, overtime I have concluded that my expertise are best expressed by ‘but not limited to’ primarily working with Elderly Vulnerable People who are over 65 years old. Through gaining experience as a ‘Support Worker’ and an ‘Extra Care Service Delivery Manager’, I have obtained both extensive and working practice skills, by providing the level of care and support that is required to help sustain a comfortable life for vulnerable Older People, within an extremely safe and homely environment.
Prior to working in health and social care, I dedicated myself to various jobs in the retail and fashion industry. I wholeheartedly performed at my job, by constantly challenging myself in an attempt to exceed my abilities, which lead to the increase in the company’s efficiency and economic success. However, in December 2008, whilst I was an acting Buyers Administrator, I was made redundant from a well- established retail company. During this catastrophic time, this period of my life felt almost apocalyptic, as I was completely blindsided by the fear of the unknown, little did I know that the next chapter of my life would be miraculously life changing- and cause me to blossom into the person I am today!
In March 2009, I started a new job as a ‘Team Administrator/ PA’ to a care manager. This job role was unfamiliar to me; I honestly believed that I would only fulfil these responsibilities on a temporary basis, as I intended to make a speedy return back to the fashion/ retail industry. As time went on, I began to see the job I once underestimated, as a blessing in disguise. Being able to serve my community in an environment where the smallest act of kindness would put the most heart warming smiles onto the faces (of people who tragically lived with no friends or family to contact) was an honour to me. This ‘temporary’ job role exponentially transitioned from a paycheque to a passion in a short space of time.
For the first time ever, I began to feel a sense of fulfilment. This was a strange feeling to me, acknowledging that this was now my purpose in life, going into work on a daily basis, to perform under an Extra Care Scheme assisted the thorough shaping of my personality. Until this job, I had never been in a role that would cause me to find myself trying to contain my excitement on a Sunday evening, because I knew I would be going into work the following Monday morning.
I would always get into work 1 hour earlier than required, in order to spend quality time with my residents; greeting them with a cup of tea and a smile, each morning filled with an array of laughter and happiness before entering my office.
My residents would greet me with a heart-warming and gentle handshake. As they held my cold hands they would say with a smile, “cold hands but a warm heart my dear.” Our daily morning encounters created a positive and upbeat atmosphere to live and work in.
My team of compassionate Caregivers would ensure all resident’s that were diagnosed with Dementia or Diabetes received their medication promptly each morning, before my arrival. On the day’s that some of the residents felt disoriented, they would frequently use phrases like: “I can’t remember the day.”, or ask questions like: “Who am I?” or “Where am I?” In response to my residents, I would always give reassurance and let them know that they were safe, and I ensured that quality time was well spent through having inspirational conversations and light ‘banter’. I will forever remember one particular lady, her daily phrase was “Once a man but twice a child my dear.” a phrase that resonated in me, until this very day.
Waking up every day and stepping into a building with the ability to even remotely change the lives of a group of people that had lost faith in humanity, restored a sense of hope into my own life. This hope grew inside of me and quickly manifested as dedication and passion- which led to me being promoted in March 2012 as the Service Delivery Manager.
Unfortunately, the processes which I had grown accustomed to gradually began to change due to a scarily large number of redundancies made across the organisation. This domino effect tragically stimulated a decrease in the morale of my colleagues, as well as the severing of the relationships that transpired between my colleagues and the residents that we loved to help.
Although I was successful in taking on more responsibilities, I no longer had the time or the power to sit and talk with my residents in the mornings; the warm cups of tea that frequently heated up our day’s had now gone cold, and those smiles had become a distant memory of mine for a very long time. This was beyond my control. The residents would ask “are you going already my dear” I watched and observed managers remove competent employees from their place of work. In the eyes of my manager our hard work, passion, dedication and commitment was all in vain, something that he could never explain.
So I decided in 2015, that it was necessary for me to do all of the research regarding the qualifications, experience and training that I would need to obtain in order to own my own care business. The next two years of my life were filled with learning about the necessities of my clients and co-workers as well as understanding the responsibilities of potentially owning a purpose built building, that was to be filled with vulnerable people that would need ‘around- the- clock’ care. Not only would I have to maintain and cater to my clients individually, I would also have to invest in myself whilst keeping track of an entire building, and the people that worked inside of it; this amount of work was the furthest thing from threatening to me.
In 2017 I gained my qualification to open a Care Business and actively made the decision to register the name: ‘‘Immense Living’ residents would project feelings of “immense happiness” in reference to their care and support, whilst living the latter years of their lives. I am certain that this type of satisfaction will follow through once my business is set up.
Consequently, due to the current pandemic, financial stagnation has delayed the process of setting up the business, but this has given me the opportunity to use these past few months to carefully plan the months ahead diligently, and my plans are now coming to fruition rather sooner than expected and I aim to launch ‘Immense Living’ this year.
Whilst considering risk assessments and multiple possibilities- I am very confident in my business and what it represents in terms of Community and Wholesomeness. This elongated process has raised my consciousness and I am now familiar with the virtues of resilience, patience and perseverance that manifests inside of me, which has caused me to be a strong believer in the phrase, “Delay does not mean Denial”.
Considering the current state of the nation, now would be the perfect time to give back to the vulnerable people living in our communities, particularly those who have no friends or family members during these challenging periods that we are all living in and facing today. The Pandemic has highlighted the need for the care industry to implement immediate change and to prioritise the elderly.
We Need Your Help! Of Up To £40k To Kick Start Immense Living!
It is our mission to construct a service that will provide the best quality of care to vulnerable older people who are 65 and over. We recognise and identify the unique needs of each person, whilst striving to devise and implement a mutually agreed care plan, in order for Immense Living to contribute to our community of people that will receive the best aid available from a team of compassionate Caregivers, who will provide support in a nurturing and familiar living environment, by meeting the needs of every individual, and making them feel at home exceeding their expectations. Individuals who are homeless or isolated due to not having any accountable friends or family members to rely upon, will be thoroughly looked after and attended to in a professional, yet enriching manner.
- To remove any negative stigma, uncertainty or doubt that individuals may have on placements for Older People.
- Inspire people to live a fulfilled and dignified life which is paramount to our society today.
- Administrate a range of Person- Centred Care in a community based Extra Care Sheltered Accommodation, to enable individuals to be the centre of their care.
- Advocate on behalf of an Older Person, their families and friends to have the choice to remain living within Extra Care Sheltered Accommodation until their end of life or should their health deteriorate.
- Preventing isolation and loneliness in our community.
- Empowering Older People to have a voice, by reinforcing Respect, Choice and Dignity.
Our ethos is to implement integrated care in order to offer residents the opportunity to develop their confidence and resourcefulness, as well as to achieve their personal goals, particularly those living with:
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Mental Health
- Cognitive Impairment
- Sensory and physical Impairment
- Drugs and Alcohol misuse
- Who are homeless and require housing or respite care.
Why Is Extra Care Our Mission;
There is statistical evidence based on the correlation between Extra Care Residents that struggle with mental health and the ability to have a better quality of life. This is because there are enhanced opportunities to interact with neighbours, communal facilities and meaningful offerings of leisure and resident led activities. These activities are recognised as contributions to the reduction of isolation and loneliness, enabling emotional and cognitive stimulation.
Research suggests that Extra Care residents with mild to moderate levels of Dementia will experience better quality of life due to Extra Care Sheltered Accommodation, being the source of some of the more innovative approaches to Dementia Care.
Also, individuals living with physical and mental health impairment are less prone to fall’s whilst living in Extra Care Sheltered Accommodation. This correlation led to a longitudinal study (from 2002 to 2010) which collated that there was less hospital admission from residents living in Extra Care in comparison to those living in unsupported housing within our community.
Once this study was carried out, there was an estimated potential saving cost to the NHS, from a reduction in hospital admissions of up to £512 per person per year. Having extra bed spaces will enable the NHS to tend to more accidents and emergencies, reducing the premature hospital discharge rate across the country.
Nationally, approximately two thirds of Extra Care Housing is occupied as a ‘home for life’. The remaining third of residents eventually move to more care-intensive settings, such as Specialist and Nursing Care.
Your support would allow Immense Living to change this cycle, as there are individuals (within the third percent) who wish to remain living in Extra Care Sheltered Accommodation during the stages of their end of life, unfortunately their wishes and desires are not always fulfilled.
My expertise as an Extra Care Service Delivery Manager for a large private care provider exposed the limitations of the decision making in the best interest of a Vulnerable Older Person due to limited resources. Seeing residents move from an Extra Care Sheltered Accommodation (a place they once called their home), because of the deterioration of their health was heartbreaking! They would express their feelings of not wanting to move into Residential or Nursing Care, although that was the ultimate process.
It is now our goal to ensure that an Older Person can remain living in Extra Care Sheltered Accommodation should it be their desire to. If an Older Person’s physical or mental health deteriorate, Immense Living will ensure their care and support is tended to, preventing any distress or fears of moving onto the unknown.
My intention is now to use my Skills, Knowledge and Qualification to start a Health Care Business that will enable me and my team to continue to enrich the lives of others.
Starting a care business will enable us to make a real difference within our society today. It is also fulfilling to be in a position to coach and lead a team of compassionate Caregivers with the same goals, passion and principles as myself.
Having the passion, knowledge, experience and the qualification to now own a care business will be used to my advantage to kick start my business with the goal to create a solid foundation for Vulnerable Older People living in our society today.
The Problem We Want To Solve.
It is fortunate that elderly people are now living a lot longer than ever before. In February 2016 the BBC news announced that ‘Over -65’s in England are living longer than ever before’. There are recent figures showing that men of age 65 life expectancy is now 19 years longer and 21 years longer for women, however there is a great concern that elderly people are living with poor health.
Evidently there is a great demand across the country for Immense Living to operate in making a real difference. As a Care Provider we aim to set a president and lead by example to other care providers, as we will not only provide care and support to vulnerable older people living within our Extra Care Accommodation, but we will also facilitate engaging activities for Older People living within the local community by implementing programmes that aim to limit the level of isolation and mental health will prevent further anxiety and depression within our community.
I hope this allows ‘us’ to think beyond the present, one day you or a loved one will be referred to as an Older Person. So let’s contribute by making a difference today!
It will give ‘us’ the peace of mind, and the reassurance that we are each preparing for the future. Many of us think about having a good pension package, but not necessarily the long term care and support we may need and deserve once retired.
We will provide care and support through expressing empathy, dedication and commitment when caring and supporting a vulnerable Older Person.
We believe and will adhere to empowering individuals to live a fulfilled and dignified life.
Together We Can Achieve This! Together We Can Live Immensely!
Please follow our page @immense_living_ and “Think With Your Hearts & Help With Our Hands”
Together We Can Achieve This! Together We Can Live Immensely!