A MAN who helped set up a care agency in Henley as a thank-you for the treatment of his late
A MAN who helped set up a care agency in Henley as a thank-you for the treatment of his late mother is celebrating its first year in business.
Michael Pitts helped Izabela Rapita set up the Henley Care Agency, which is based in Newtown Road.
His mother Yvonne, who died from cancer in 2008, aged 86, was given assisted living care at her home in West Drive, Sonning.
Mrs Rapita used to visit regularly and carried out tasks including administering drugs and picking up shopping.
Mr Pitts, who lives in Warren Row, near Wargrave, was so impressed with the the carer’s work that he wanted to help her.
He said: “She looked after my late mother right up to the end with incredible care and devotion. I had a number of nurses come in from different services over the period my mother’s health deteriorated and Izabela would spend more and more time looking after her.
“Her care was just exceptional. She showed a great attention to detail. What impressed me most was how she switched seamlessly from being my mother’s general carer to the role of a highly experienced and professional nurse, administering complex palliative care.
“It was that which prompted me to help her set up her own nursing company as she had formally been operating as a freelance nurse as well as working in various nursing homes in the area.
“In a world of mediocrity, it is unusual to find someone like her and it comes down to her reading of the patient. She looks carefully at what is happening so she knows just what is needed.” Mrs Rapita, 37, who is originally from Poland and lives in Wargrave, set up the agency with her own money and is the managing director.
Mr Pitts, 56, who runs PR company the Henley Group in the same building in Newtown Road, joined the company as a director and has helped with the administrative side of the business and sharing contacts.
The company employs 16 staff and has 15 clients on its books. The services it provides range from assistance with shopping to 24-hour medical supervision, which includes daily visits and full-time live-in care.
Mrs Rapita, who previously worked at the Lashbrook nursing home in Shiplake, accepts referrals from NHS Oxfordshire as well as private patients who can be at any stage of care need. Some of her clients have had spinal injuries or suffered a stroke.
The company is concentrating on providing care services within a 10-mile radius of Henley, although it has live-in care clients in Bicester.
Mrs Rapita said: “The reason I started my company is because I have been encouraged to do so by my previous clients and I thought to myself, ‘why not?’
“We have been growing quite fast and I needed Michael’s experience as he has the contacts with accountants and other professionals. He has given me a lot of support and help on the business side of things — I couldn’t have done it without him.”
Mrs Rapita is married to Mariusz, a chef at Acacia Lodge care home in Quebec Road, Henley, and they have two children, Korneliusz, nine, who attends Polehampton School in Twyford, and Oksana, 12, who attends the Piggott School in Wargrave.
Mr Pitts had never thought he would get into the healthcare business but said: “The company was set up as a thank-you but I was asked to join and I can’t stop a job before it is finished. Our goal is to expand.”