Thank you: Meal preparation is just one of the services to be offered by Bermuda In Home Care. *Overseas iStock photo
Thank you: Meal preparation is just one of the services to be offered by Bermuda In Home Care. *Overseas iStock photo
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WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 8: For many seniors in Bermuda, home care is a luxury they can’t afford.

But one woman is hoping to change all that with a new service aimed at providing affordable personal care, housekeeping and meal preparation.

Wendy Watson started Bermuda In Home Care after identifying a growing need among the elderly population for basic care.

She was inspired to help after taking part in the 2005 Ageing in Bermuda survey as a researcher.

Ms Watson, who was studying for her Associates degree in business at Bermuda College at the time, said: “It was a census for seniors and we touched on healthcare, whether they were able to pay their utility bills and other matters.

“I realized that there is no help for a lot of our seniors. The demand is there but the fees for services are so high, many can’t afford it.”

Ms Watson said on average, rates vary from $27 to $35 per hour for housekeeping and home care.

After spending the past few years in the US and studying for her business management degree at Mount Saint Vincent University, Canada, and her nursing assistant qualification, she set up Bermuda In Home Care this summer.

“While I was overseas I wondered, ‘What can I do to make a difference in our community in Bermuda?’, she said.

“Then, when my son Joshua was three months old, he was diagnosed with epilepsy and I became his caregiver. I realized that this was another avenue in Bermuda, that I could do home care for disabled children or those with difficulties, in addition to helping seniors.

“Parents of children with developmental challenges may not be able to cope, because of other stress factors in their lives.

“Once business picks up we will look for qualified people with specialist training to help these children.”

Bermuda In Home Care’s services include: personal/hygiene care; housekeeping; grocery shopping; doctors’ appointments; meal preparation; and a travel companion (such as on overseas trips).

Ms Watson said the services would be available on a 24/7 basis. She is currently advertising for four nursing assistants.

“I’m looking to start out small and hopefully we will then grow into something bigger.

“There’s not many in-home care services like this in Bermuda, but there are nursing homes. But some seniors don’t want to go into a nursing home; they just want to be in their own home. They like their space, and they may have a pet.

“We need to respect this. It goes back to being in control of your life and feeling part of society, enjoying your retirement.”

Ms Watson said: “I’m just getting started and I want seniors to know that there is help out there at an affordable rate for them.

“I want seniors to have access to resources, to be able to get to the doctor’s when they need to and to have someone who can give them a bath or cook them a meal. I’m trying to make it more economically feasible for them to get help and not to worry about money.

“I’ve been following the issue of seniors in Bermuda since taking part in the survey in 2005, and I hope we can use the information to improve their lives. Seniors are living longer, and so in-home care really needs to get better.

“It’s about making them feel loved, respected and restoring their dignity. At Bermuda In Home Care we will work to their schedule and can assure them of our confidentiality.

“Anyone interested can call me to get our service rates, but we will work with your budget. We don’t want anyone to feel left out. I don’t want money to be a factor for seniors in receiving the proper care they need.”

Bermuda In Home Care
PO Box 2748, Hamilton, HM LX.
Call 705-4424 or e-mail bihc@northrock.bm