Nurse Next Door Delta team clockwise from top left: Miranna Ouellette, Lindsay Eldridge, Judy Johnston, and Donelle Clarke
If you've been living or working in Sunny Tsawwassen for any length of time there's a good chance you've seen the familiar pink car of Nurse Next Door Home Care Services. And if you've seen the car, chances are the driver was Lindsay Eldridge, general manager of the Delta franchise.
Lindsay did not have a background in health care when she and her father started the business here in 2008, but the self-admitted "customer service maniac" was attracted to the opportunity to provide companionship to seniors in a community like Tsawwassen, which has a higher-than-average population of seniors. But Lindsay says they quickly discovered a need for services that went beyond what they could offer.
"We didn't have that medical expertise," recalls Lindsay. "So, in 2010 we brought on Donelle Clarke as our care manager and she's now our director of care."
Clarke came to Nurse Next Door with a master's degree in nursing, allowing the business to expand their nursing services to provide a full array of medical care provisions with a focus on palliative care and persons with dementia.
"There's a huge need to do really great dementia care in our community and people struggle a lot with this disease," says Lindsay. "It's about having just a little bit of help, guidance and direction, and a little of bit of respite for these families caring for their own husband, wife, mother or father."
Lindsay knows from her own experience when she was a teenager, the difficulty in trying to find services for her grandfather. Fortunately, her grandmother was a registered nurse (and the first ever president of the BC Nurses' Union) and she was able to manage most of the care herself.
A year and a half ago, Lindsay says her mother was diagnosed with a terminal illness. Using her expertise in helping others, she got her mother set up with palliative care at home so she wouldn't have to be in a hospital or a hospice. She passed 12 days after the diagnosis.
"Our hearts are so big because everyone in this office has been through something within their own family," says Lindsay. "So we do our very best to do whatever it takes to bring a family peace of mind. That's what we're here for."
Nurse Next Door Delta has four people in their office located inside the Tsawwassen Town Centre Mall, but there are 70 registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, care aids and companions out of the field caring for over 100 clients across North and South Delta.
Their quality of care and customer service earned them a finalist nod for Small Business of the Year at the 2017 Delta Chamber Hats Off to Excellence Awards last November.
Although the recognition was nice, Lindsay says their business mainly comes from word of mouth, as satisfied clients refer them to others in need. However, Lindsay notes that confidentiality remains top-of-mind.
"We always tell our caregivers, many of whom live in Tsawwassen or Ladner, that it's very important to maintain professional boundaries and keep the privacy of clients. Because we don't ever want one of our clients to feel exposed or 'outed' that they've received care if they don't want to. If they do, we're happy to have them shout it from the rooftops as well."