Jacqueline Hall-Stewart is in the business of supplying 'angels' who offer the highest calibre of care and support - a venture she stumbled upon while groping through the rigours of caring for an ailing parent.
"In 2008, my mother's health started to deteriorate after an accident, and as it worsened, we placed her in a care home. The persons there were OK, but Mom just didn't like it. While living overseas, I had to contend with remotely sourcing qualified, compassionate persons to care for my mother in her home. I would rely on family members and friends, who would check in or recommend someone, but it didn't always work out," Hall-Stewart explained. "But the last straw was when I came to Jamaica and had to rush her to the hospital where she was admitted for a week. When she was discharged I needed someone with the right skills to take care of her, but I had no idea where to turn. That's when I decided that something had to be done."
Three months later, Hall-Stewart teamed up with childhood friend Melody Cammock-Gayle, who had had her own struggles sourcing care support for her mother (in her mother's own home, where she prefers to stay in order to exert her independence).
Inspired by their experiences, both women saw the need for an organisation with a large pool of skill sets comprised of competent personnel who could provide consistent care, for those in need. And so the duo brainstormed, taking a studied approach in assessing the needs, demands and Jamaican cultural nuisances which resulted in, Angels4U being formed.
bridging the gap
"With improvements in medical technology, many persons with varying disabilities, illnesses, and injuries, can live long productive lives with the right care and support services, particularly if they remain in the comfort of their own home. Due to economic and job demands, parents are spending less time in the home and are constantly faced with the challenge of finding suitable persons to care for young children, the home or even do errands. On the flip side, we have met many persons who can offer these services; they just don't know where to look. We are bridging the gap," Cammock-Gayle told Flair.
Angels4U operates as a consultancy, recruiting and providing quality trained personnel (Angelites) to deliver exceptional care and support services to individuals in the comfort of their own home. The services offered range from caring for convalescents, elderly, children, assistance for children 'differently abled'; provision of personal assistants, drivers, housekeepers and tutors for all levels.
Understanding the needs of the society, the partners in Angels4U explained that their goal is to enlist, manage and monitor trained personnel who are the ideal fit for their clients. As such, Angels4U is supported in meeting its aims by a team of professional care and support workers, as well as personal assistants who have amassed considerable experience in their particular areas of speciality. In addition, Hall-Stewart insists that the company will seek to adapt and develop according to the changing needs of its service users, individuals and the care industry. This, she explained, will be done through monthly evaluations of objectives guided by specific measures of internal and external-customer satisfaction surveys.
"We want to elevate the standards in the care and support services industry. Persons should know that when they recruit from Angels4U, they are indeed getting an angel in their home. That's why we have a rigorous screening process with background checks and investigative support in place, to try to ensure our Angelites are persons of good character with integrity and empathy," explained Cammock-Gayle.
As a part of its mandate, the company's directors explain that they are committed to lifelong learning initiatives and aim to provide its team with ongoing training to support and update their skills and knowledge. To facilitate this, Angels4U has formed an alliance with the HEART Trust/NTA which will see the national agency providing skilled workers as well as offer training.
"It is our desire to ensure that our clients have peace of mind and for them not to have the anxieties that Jacqueline and I experienced. We want to assure our clients that when they have an Angelite in their home, we have provided them with a committed individual who has integrity and is professional," noted Cammock-Gayle.