Ruth Solomons has built a trusted business right in the heart of her local community. As her Right at Home care franchise grows, she plans to introduce intergenerational activities that will benefit both younger children and her older Clients.
Since opening Right at Home Harrow, in 2014, Ruth has built a successful business in the heart of her local community. In May 2018 her dedication and impressive growth was recognised at the EWIF national franchising awards, where Ruth was a finalist in the coveted Woman Franchisee of the Year category.
With her growing care team, Ruth’s business has been having a positive impact on her Clients, their family and friends, as well as the wider community. Ruth explains, “I wanted a business opportunity which would allow me to be successful and I really wanted to be able to provide high quality care. This is what drew me to Right at Home initially; they work to a very high standard.”
Right at Home is a Homecare Management franchise which encourages its network of owners to develop their business in their own way; and is ideally suited to someone who wants to make a real difference in the lives of the people who use their services.
The trust of her clients
Operating a customer-focused business, Ruth ensures her growing team of carers also work from the same ethos: to treat Clients as if they were family. “I previously worked in schools, before moving into the care industry,” Ruth explains. “I find the emphasis on keeping Clients at the centre of what we offer is not dissimilar to keeping children central to the education process.”
Last year, Ruth extended her services to offer live-in care. “We found there were Clients who wanted to stay at home, but needed a little extra support, especially at night. So we offer this exceptional care service to ensure our Clients can enjoy the comfort of their own home for as long as possible. Some of my Clients who use live-in originally came to us with small needs, but came back for higher-level support that they trust us to provide.
As a result of the standard Ruth expects from her team, her office provides more live-in care than any other office within the Right at Home network tapping into the huge demand for a viable alternative to residential care.
The trust of her community
Right at Home has a reputation for delivering top-level care. Through her local community connections, Ruth has established a reputation for excellence, and often receives referrals through places of worship. The family and friends who care about her potential Clients, have heard about the standard of care Right at Home offers. This reputation not only benefits Ruth’s business, but has worked in favour of new franchisees moving into Adjacent territories.
“I’ve been able to pass on Clients to the neighbouring Right at Home office, as well. The trust people have in the Right at Home services are reflected in the opportunities we receive.”
The trust of the generations
But Ruth hasn’t finished, she has more services to develop, which will further improve her Clients’ quality of life.
Before opening Right at Home Harrow, Ruth was an Assistant Head and a Biology teacher.
“I originally chose to work in education because it has the power to transform peoples’ lives,” she says. “My aim now is to improve life for adults in their ‘sunset days’, in their own homes, by providing the highest quality of care and assistance; to go the extra mile, with new initiatives.
“My dad was in a care home,” Ruth says, “and he absolutely loved it when children were brought into see the residents. Having seen first-hand the positive impact inter-generational interactions can have on the elderly population, I want to host workshops with both elderly Clients, and young children attending. I think this would be a wonderful opportunity both for my business, and for the people who connect with one another across the generations.”
Fully supportive of her idea, Right at Home are encouraging Ruth to pursue this addition to her business. “Head Office put me in touch with an organisation who run workshops for children, who are interested in partnering with us for this project. We would offer intergenerational workshops, like crafts, which clients, local small children and the wider community can attend.”
Research has shown encouraging the development of relationships between the generations has a positive impact on the well-being of both, reducing anxiety, loneliness and depression in older people.
“Last year, was a bit of a trial-run; we ran a “Singing for the Brain” workshop with a professional singer who works with Alzheimer’s patients. We invited the local community to join our Clients, their friends and family, and had a great time singing together. We were able to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Society at the same time, which is important to me, as some of my Clients suffer with dementia.”
Then in early May, Ruth ran her first inter-generational workshop, “We had a very good start for our first event, so I am really pleased,” Ruth exclaims. “We had one Client in particular who attracted the attention of the children easily. He is an excellent artist who loves to draw portraits, so he spent time drawing each of the children and they absolutely loved him.”
It is this engagement which Ruth knows will be hugely beneficial for both the children and her Clients. “The workshops allowed the generations to interact together, creating a positive environment for our Clients as we find ways to enrich their lives. We want to give them something to look forward to; this will allow them to leave the house and mix with other people in the community, which is important for their emotional and mental wellbeing.”
By mixing the two worlds she knows and loves, Ruth hopes to continue to transform people’s lives, as well as developing the excellent range of care services she provides, whilst making a real difference to the people in her community.