Care comes home: Edinburgh nurse launches local in-home care service

Courtney Bennett (Visiting Angels)

SINCE MOVING to Edinburgh to study nursing 10 years ago, Courtney Bennett has long understood the need for attentive, respectful in-home care to meet the growing demand for exceptional services in her community. After a decade in the care industry, Courtney has recently launched Visiting Angels – a care provider that cares for people in the comfort of their own homes – with the intention of not only providing high-quality in-home care for East Edinburgh residents, but also to reward carers for the amazing work they do for others day in and day out.

Before launching Visiting Angels, Courtney graduated from Edinburgh Napier University with a nursing degree, and she felt so at home in the city that she decided to stay and start a life here. In her years after university, Courtney worked across the care sector in various roles, predominantly with the elderly in nursing homes and in adult social care from the nursing perspective. After battling through her own health issues, Courtney had to take a step back from clinical nursing, but never lost the passion she had for caring for others. It was this which prompted Courtney to launch Visiting Angels; she was able to provide that high level of care to those who need it most while being able to look after her own health.

“Since finding nursing, I have loved caring for others, particularly for the elderly,” says Courtney, of her motivation for launching the company. “I love the elderly; I feel so comfortable in their company – more than most my own age actually! I loved my job as a nurse, but it’s no secret that it comes with its own challenges. Being a caregiver is such a difficult job, one which is not nearly championed enough. Carers deserve to be treated, valued and rewarded properly for the amazing work that they do.

“I found when I was working in care homes that no matter how fantastic the home, the team and the facilities were, there was always something which felt institutionalising and isolating about them. I’m a firm believer that people rest better in their own home, and that when carers are given more time for visits and properly compensated for their work, that in-home care becomes something incredibly special. When I decided to launch Visiting Angels here in Edinburgh, it was so important for me to think about not just our clients, but our carers as well, which is why we have policies covering minimum one-hour visits, paid-for travel time between visits for staff, and proper rewards for our caregivers’ incredible work.”

Visiting Angels’ ‘carer-centric’ approach sets it apart from other companies in the in-home care sector. Carers working for Visiting Angels feel valued and respected for their commitment to the industry. Through both financial rewards and opportunities for career development, Courtney and the Visiting Angels team are determined to address issues surrounding the industry, which often leaves carers feeling little –to no appreciation.

Courtney is aiming to have around 20 carers on board by the end of the year. With staff turnover in the care sector at a record high1, Courtney is determined to encourage caregivers to stay in the industry, by providing them with a supportive, respectful, rewarding work environment. More than anything, Courtney wants to change the face of social care for the better, and to make it accessible to every person who needs it.

“It’s so important to get our voices heard and to make a real difference in the community. So much of our local area is underserved and often overlooked when it comes to care, so I’m really excited to be able to bring this level of high-quality, consistent care to the people of East Edinburgh.”

For more information, visit the Visiting Angels website.

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