Former racehorse breeder launches new home care business

A former Shropshire racehorse breeder has left her equestrian career to take the reins of a new bespoke home care company following the experience of caring for her maternal grandmother for the last two years of her life.

Rachael Birchall developed such a passion for the role that she was inspired to set up a care company that could provide the kind of one-to-one care and companionship that she had been able to give her grandmother.
She has established a franchise of Home Instead Senior Care, a national award-winning care provider, offering tailormade care and support services to older people living in Shrewbury, Ludlow, Oswestry and the surrounding rural areas.

So far the company, based at Leaton Knolls, near Shrewsbury, has recruited over 20 caregivers and plans to recruit up to 150 over the next two years.

“We differ from many other home care providers because we’re geared up to covering rural areas and we offer a flexible service which allows clients to get the help they want, exactly when they want it, no matter what time of the day,” said Rachael, who was a horse breeder for 20 years.

“That help might range from personal non-medical care, chores around the home and doing the shopping, right through to looking after pets, cooking meals and accompanying clients on social visits.”

After becoming a widow, Rachael’s 93-year-old grandmother moved into a flat nextdoor to her home on the family-run stud farm Helshaw Grange, at Tern Hill, near Market Drayton.

“She was struggling to live on her own and had endured the indignity of poor home care, such as being left lying in a wet bed by care providers,” said Rachael.

“In between my work with the horses, I was able to become her main carer. I helped her to get dressed and go to bed. I took her on visits to the shops and other outings. She was able to attend church, which she hadn’t done for some time and, for those last two years of her life, she enjoyed the love and interaction of her family around her.”

Rachael chose to team up with Home Instead Senior Care because of its track record of high quality care and its values and ethos reflected those of her own.

“Companionship is very important to us. We match one caregiver per client, so our carers always have the time for a proper chat and don’t have to dash off to the next appointment,” added Rachael.

“Research shows that maintaining mental stimulation, social interaction and independent living in their own home not only enhances older people’s quality of life, it also prolongs their life.”

Rachael, 41, was a racehorse breeder based at Helshaw Grange for nearly 20 years. She also achieved personal success as an event rider at Riding Club level. Her father, Alan Birchall, owned Saxon Farm, a race champion that came to national prominence in 1983 when he won the Daily Express Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham.

The family also enjoyed a great deal of success with Accumulator, a top event horse that represented Great Britain and was short-listed for the Olympics until he was injured. The stud now leases its training facilities to the racehorse trainer Nicky Vaughan.

Home Instead Senior Care was launched in 1994 by American couple Paul and Lori Hogan after they failed to find a suitable care provider for an elderly relative. The franchisor now has 1,000 branches throughout the world. It has 130 offices in the UK, including one based in Telford. Earlier this month the UK arm won the 2013 HSBC Franchisor of the Year Gold Award.


Michael Michael

Severn Magazine and Love Shrewsbury Editor.

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