Edna developed juvenile arthritis in her teens, which made movement in her arms and legs more difficult as years went by. In 1993, aged 63, Edna had an accident in her home, slipping over in her bathroom and breaking her arm. In hospital, the nurses would often forget that she was unable to eat unassisted and sadly she was regularly overlooked.
Over time, it became harder to ensure that Edna was being properly cared for. Her husband Ronnie, also arthritic in his legs, was unable to care for her alone. It became clear to Clare, a full-time registered nurse, that the health of her friend was deteriorating. Clare and Claudio decided to invite Edna to stay in their 2 bedroom flat with their 3 children. They took it upon themselves to look for a long-term solution to help Edna return home. She had become so frail during her stay in hospital that the day she discharged herself, she couldn’t be easily lifted from her bed to the car.
At the time, Clare and Claudio couldn’t find a homecare company providing trained live-in carers. Those claiming they did were unable to provide staff who could assist with tasks such as mobility transfers. This left Edna and Ronnie very vulnerable, relying on the kindness of friends to help them wash, dress and leave the house. By this point, it was clear there were no companies who could provide the standard of care Edna needed. Edna asked Clare and Claudio to help find her capable carers and, after some searching, they found Tony and Michel. Tony and Michel were trained to care for Edna and Ronnie and this is how European Nursing Agency (ENA), in its earliest form, began.