Written by: Julia Lawrence – Head of Care and Member Services. Five Good Friends.
There is nothing more personal than your care and support and no space more personal than your home so it makes sense that the person coming to help you must be a perfect match!
“Sharon, it’s Peter calling. I’m just ringing to let you know that I met Chad today and he took me shopping. He was a ‘delight’ and he was so ‘helpful’ and we got on fine. Just wanted to let you know you’re one of the best ‘match makers’ ever. And also, Jenny has been in touch and I can’t talk too highly of her either. Thank you”
Working with families for the last 30 years has taught me the importance of matching not just the skills and experience required but more importantly the personal attributes. So often it is not really about the specific tasks, but the person completing them; what is important to them and the relationship. Having a friend or someone you can rely on is important in all stages of our lives. Each person brings something to our lives, something unique and irreplaceable. We all like to know that special someone is thinking of us, knows and understands us, and that they will come to visit and bring meaning to our day.
A Five Good Friends Helper is often one of these people and the Five Good Friends model has ‘matching’ this special someone to each of our Members at its core.
We recognise true friends are hard to find but when you find them they are worth hanging onto. The biggest investment we make is in matching our Helpers to each Member, this is what people value most; it makes the world of difference. Instead of focusing on services and tasks, we talk to families and understand what type of person they would look forward to having in their home. We get the full picture of the person who will be most successful and we find that person, match and introduce them. We empower and enable the relationship and watch it grow and blossom.
It really is just like having a friend come to visit. Members and Helpers look forward to the visit and feel better for having had time together. Friends are helpful, supportive, interested and encouraging. Our Helpers trusted relationships are keeping people connected and engaged, they have been life changing for many families.
Our Helpers know the person and how they like things to happen in their home; there are no strangers coming to our Members homes. The Helpers are empowered to be responsive to the Members needs and through knowing the person so well, they are often best placed to notice little changes and work out the best way to keep them well, safe and happy.
Our Community Managers are of course professional and qualified with significant experience in providing and managing services, but the unique and special skill they have is matching! The power of this matching is key to long, happy and successful relationships and lives lived well.