In 1980 (when I was 34) Able Domestic Employment Agency was founded by myself and a friend. We offered our service under a domestic heading,
mostly finding housekeepers, gardeners, au pairs and nannies.
While in these early stages I was contacted by a client of mine that has now passed (and so I do not have consent to use her full name here) Lady M, who was looking for a housekeeper/companion to live with her permanently.
She was offering accommodation along with a small wage, which was fairly common at the time.
One day I took a call asking if I had any work for 2 weeks at a time.
I rang Lady M and asked her if she would try this, at least until I could find her someone permanent, she agreed.
We went on to find this arrangement worked so well (with two carers alternating) that Able Agency’s continuous housekeeping scheme was born.
That initial call placed our first carer, Jackie Sherman (Jeeves), who continued to work for us up until 2019.
After working together for ten years my friend and I formed two separate companies.
Having worked very much at ground level I saw first hand the benefit of supplying as much of a personalised service as possible.
I felt this came from being able to meet with my clients and building a good understanding of their personal needs.
Also in knowing this I was aware of the importance of maintaining excellent carers, who's empathy and care had always been immeasurable, giving me a
great deal of assurance and satisfaction in the service I provided.
And so I felt I wanted to remain being focused in and around the East and South East of England to continue giving the best service I possibly could.
In 1986 I had personal experience of the service and care we provide.
Several years after my mother died it became apparent that my father had started to become very confused, and could no longer remain living on his own safely.
My father was happiest in his own surroundings, and so I was sure he wouldn’t be happy going into Residential Care. He would want to stay in the home he built for
his wife and daughters, continue to potter in the garden and stay in the area that we had lived in since the 1940's.
I found two Carers to alternate, working a fortnight on and a fortnight off, and, after a time, in his confusion he had begun calling one of the carers Edna. Which was my mother's name.
He died peacefully at home, which is where I know he would have wanted to be.
For me it was the most satisfying thing I could have done for my father, giving me a great deal of contentment.
Being able to offer the same choice to others and their families is very special to me.
Now 40 years later we are still a family run business, with
Michelle (my step daughter-in-law) managing our office in Norwich, while my son Matthew maintains the applications used to manage the company along with our website.
I am so proud of what we do as a company, our staff and our carers
- both past and present
Hilary Betts, Founder