Jo Diprose and her colleagues are on a mission to deliver excellent, compassionate, and personalised care in the comfort of your own home. 

It’s ten years since Jo Diprose left the UK to start a new life in the Algarve and two years since she became clinical lead at Saar@Home. As a fully qualified nurse, she describes herself as “someone who loves nursing and is passionate about improving people’s health and well-being”. 

When we’re in need of healthcare, many of us prefer to have it provided in the comfort of our own homes – there’s no need to travel and it’s often where we feel safest and most comfortable, surrounded by familiar items, memories, pets and people. As Jo explained, “We have nurses and carers dedicated to providing medical and non-medical home care services, including help with everyday living requirements.”

A typical day for Jo involves visiting a new client to carry out an initial assessment of their needs while getting to know them as people. Shortly after that initial visit, Jo and her colleagues will develop a care plan and identify the most appropriate nurse and/or carer to work with the client. 

Saar@Home is a multilingual set-up, with Portuguese, French, English, German, Spanish and Dutch-speaking staff working throughout the Algarve and in Cascais. Their services include care for clients with Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia, post-operative support, palliative care, wound care and advice, and much more. Jo and her colleagues take a holistic approach to their work factoring in such things as nutrition and a person’s overall quality of life. Importantly, Saar@Home is a fully registered home care company, fully licensed by Portugal’s Segurança Social. 

Other aspects of Jo’s work include training her colleagues and, as with all staff at Sarr@Home, investing in her own development. She recently attended a high-profile conference in the UK focused on the latest developments in wound care, an area of medicine that Jo’s particularly passionate about. 

Another key area of work for Jo and her colleagues is palliative care, supporting the person and their loved ones. She told me of a Dutch gentleman who was homebound and nearing his final days and wanting to celebrate his life with a bite to eat and a few drinks with his friends. Jo looks back – quite justifiably – with pride on how she and her colleagues helped make one of his final wishes come true. Supporting people at the end of their lives or, indeed, any healthcare work can prove demanding. It makes it all the more important to have interests and support away from the working environment. For Jo, that means spending time with her husband, her horses and her dogs, while enjoying her home in the beautiful countryside on the outskirts of Tavira.

I asked Jo what advice she has for our readers. “Please do get yourself checked out on a regular basis,” she said. “It’s really important.” One very practical way Jo and her colleagues are helping the local community is by carrying out free health checks for walking footballers – a very popular sport in the Algarve for men (like me) and ladies of a certain age. During the month of March, the walking footballers in the eastern Algarve will be offered blood pressure, pulse and blood glucose tests, and general health advice. It’s a great way of spreading the message about healthcare and, as Jo said, getting ourselves checked out on a regular basis can only be a good thing. 

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