THE experience of flying to Spain every weekend to help look after his grandmother has inspired a Hampshire man to start a home care business.

Jose Rodriguez, a regional pharmacist manager by trade, made the weekly trips to his Spanish family after his grandmother became ill with dementia.

The experience led to him starting the Southampton and Winchester franchise of Good Oaks Home Care.

He said: “My family are very close, so when my grandmother was diagnosed with dementia, we all came together to look after her. Three out of four weekends I’d be going back to help out.

“But it was getting very difficult for my family. As the months passed it was draining my mum. The dementia was very aggressive, and it was around the clock job to look after my grandmother.

“It must have been very frightening for her; her dementia would make her become aggressive as she was suffering from hallucinations.

“She lost a lot of weight and we struggled with her mobility and loss of strength.

“In Spain, traditionally we aren’t very trusting of people we haven’t known for ages, so strangers coming into the house was a no-no, but we had to bite the bullet. We managed to find two amazing caring ladies, one came in the morning and one came in the evening to help my mum and aunt.

“It was just amazing the impact these two lovely women had – so much so, that it made me want to start my own home care business.”

He added: “My grandmother passed away and for ages it felt rubbish, but it made me feel like I wanted to help give that care to others. I had seen the difference care could make to everyone’s lives it touched.”

Mr Rodriguez said he looked at franchise options and spoke to several companies before joining the Good Oaks Home Care team.

The Southampton and Winchester business covers the whole region including Romsey, Eastleigh, Chandlers Ford, out towards Salisbury and bordering Basingstoke.

Mr Rodriguez moved to the UK in 2002 and has worked as a pharmacist ever since. He is currently part of the University of Manchester Centre of Pharmacy Education and is involved in training for pharmacists.

He said: “I’m excited to bring this to my community. It really helped my family and now I can’t wait to make a difference in the lives of others.”