How to choose a home care provider
We understand the importance of finding the right home care provider, with the happiness and wellbeing of your loved one at stake. As stressful as the process can be, it’s important to do your research and ask the right questions so the provider you choose is able to meet your loved ones needs and desired lifestyle.
Not only are you enhancing your loved ones daily life but also ensuring their safety, meaning you can sit back and relax in knowing that they are well looked after.
Your first step in finding support should be working out the needs and wants of your care, with a primary focus on the routine of care and the goals you want to achieve.
How to find a home care provider
Home care providers offer tailored packages to suit individual needs. When looking for a home care provider it is always good to ask friends & family for any recommendations, use care service directories to search for providers in your local area or visit trusted referral sites such as homecare.co.uk.
Before searching for providers, it is key to know:
- Location of care.
- Care needed.
- Budget for care.
Identify the type of care you need
It is important to know the type of care that is required. Do you require help with washing and dressing? Do you want to organise meal preparation every day? Do you need 24-hour live in care? Are you looking for respite care? Or just to socialise and get about the local community through companionship services. You also need to decide how often do you want carers to visit? What time do you want visits throughout the day? Also consider whether a provider will be able to adapt if the needs change in the future.
Example questions to ask & information to find out
Care providers will usually set up a free of charge consultation. This is a great opportunity for you to ask questions and for the provider to find out more about your requirements. Gather as much information as possible so you can compare providers and choose the right one for you. Suggested questions to ask:
- What services do you offer? Do you support people with Dementia? Can you help with administering medication?
- How do you ensure the quality of care is maintained?
- What happens if I want to change my care plan or my needs change in the future?
- Who will deliver my care and will I receive the same carer every day? What happens when my carer is on holiday or is off sick?
- How do I complain if I am not happy?
- How will you ensure the carers follow the care plan? Can my relatives have access to the care notes?
- What is your CQC rating? When were you last inspected?
- Can you provide care so my husband/wife can have a break from caring for me?
- How will you help enhance my wellbeing, can I go out on visits into the local community?
- What training and background checks do your staff receive?
Ratings & reviews
One of the most reliable ways to understand more about the level of service offered by a provider is to see their reviews & feedback. Reviews are directly left by past or existing clients of those that have used their services.
To find provider reviews you can check their profile on homecare.co.uk, who are the largest home care review site in the UK. You can also check the providers social media, micro sites & website.
All trusting home care providers are registered with the Care Quality Commission, an independent regulator of Health and Social Care. You can view the providers inspection reports and ratings on the CQC website. Also check whether the provider is a member of the United Kingdom Homecare Association. UKHCA is a professional association for homecare providers who offer membership to providers who comply with a code of practice in ensuring safe & secure care.