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Bella’s Elderly Daycare – a dream fulfilled

by Barbados Today Traffic
4 min read

by Kimberley Cummins

Caring for the elderly gave Larisha Eversley keen insight into the dilemma seniors and their families face when hey need care.

Having worked in both the public and private sector with her experience in Chemotherapy, Gyneacology, Obstetrics and Geriatrics, this registered nurse knew all too well that for some families, home care services are not an option and they have no choice but to put their loved ones in a care facility.

And that’s where the 26-year-old stepped in. In June 2019, Eversley founded Bella’s Elderly Daycare with the aim of filling what she believed was a void in the industry.

In much the same way that there are some people who just love toddlers and children, this young lady has what she described as an unexplainable love for older people.

In an interview with Barbados TODAY, Eversley explained that she always held a passion for elderly care. That’s why she enrolled at the Barbados Community College to pursue a degree in General Nursing.

However, it was only after she completed her studies and dived headlong into her career in the sector that this passion developed.

In 2015, Eversley began her career at the Queen Elizabeth and Geriatric Hospitals.

“My passion for the elderly started to grow. I became very fond of them and I wanted to do more for the seniors of Barbados. Seeing them laugh and reliving stories from their past, despite their present circumstances, brought so much joy to me.

“I truly enjoy taking care of them and allowing them to still be independent in their golden years,” she said.

Her time at the Geriatric Hospital also helped to reinforce the need for productive sessions with the elderly, that is, the importance of mental and physical engagement rather than just having them sitting around all day.

After moving on to a somewhat comfortable job in private care around 2017, it was then that God gave her the idea to start her own elderly care business.

Upon receiving this divine intervention, Eversley had no hesitation, apprehension
or intimidation.

She moved with haste and set out to achieve her goal of “restoring independence” through her business in Shop Hill, St. Thomas.

“Proper elderly care is something that has been lacking in our society. Some seniors are neglected at home throughout the day and there is usually no one to care for them until their caregiver returns from work.

“While they may not all suffer maltreatment, there is still a form of neglect, and that can result in accidents at home or other preventable situations.

“Many elderly care facilities exist, but only a few offer daycare services. That is why I started Bella’s Elderly Daycare. At Bella’s Elderly Daycare, we stimulate their minds with games, art and craft and preserve their mobility with full body exercises,” she emphasisd.

A past student of The Ellerslie School, Eversley admitted that even with an entrepreneurial mindset, her journey hasn’t been without its challenges. Of course, the most difficult of these is the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“We do our best to protect our clients and follow all COVID-19 protocols. At some points throughout the pandemic, there have been some low moments and financial losses which have been difficult to absorb, but despite those, we remain resolute,” Eversley said.

Furthermore, the businesswoman stressed that despite the few bumps in the road, she holds no regrets about self-employment or rather self-empowerment — as she characterised it.

She maintained: “My business has given me the opportunity to apply my knowledge and skills and ultimately enhance my clients’ quality of life. . .

“I absolutely enjoy working for myself and with the elderly. We all will get old someday if we have that privilege and we will want to know that there are persons who still care about us and our well-being. The elderly are so wise and knowledgeable and we can learn so much from them.

“Also, I like the autonomy and fulfilment I get from being a business owner, although the job of managing, planning and marketing can be challenging at times.

“I’ve had times of being frustrated and overwhelmed, but I’ve embraced the challenges and continue to learn as the time goes by.” (KC)

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