It’s hard to decide that you need care and assistance with everyday tasks, but once you have accepted that, it is important that you make the right choice about your caregiver. You are inviting someone into your home on a regular basis and it is important you are comfortable with them and that they will provide for your needs.
Here are key steps in the process of choosing a home care provider.
Decide what support and care you need
If you are set on in-home care, you need to decide if you want to use a domiciliary care agency or employ an individual. With the latter, you or a relative has to deal with being a boss as well as being the patient or relative. Although this saves on agency fees, it can be a heavy responsibility. If you use a care agency, you don’t have to deal with issues of employment.
Make a list of what you need
Making a list will help you really think about what you want from a care provider. List what you need help with and how often you want them to visit. Think about the times they should visit and what specific tasks you want them to undertake. Look online to see the kinds of services that are available and decide if any of them are right for you. Add them to your list.
Make a list of potential agencies that meet your list
Browse online to find agencies you will consider to be your care provider. They should meet all or most of the items on your list. There are directories of agencies, but you can also just search for your area to find listings that will give results such as the Frasercare Home Care Agency in Bournemouth. You might also ask your GP, other health professionals, or the social care team at your local authority for recommendations.
Make a shortlist
In whittling down your initial list you need to make some important checks for every agency before adding it to your shortlist. You need to be sure that the agency is registered with one of the care regulators in The UK and also that the agency is registered with the UK Homecare Association (UKHCA). The care regulators ensure appropriate standards of safety and quality are met while the UKHCA has a Code of Practice members must follow.
Contact the agencies
It is best to “interview” each agency on your shortlist to enable you to reach a decision. Make the most of the opportunity to ask all the questions you need answers to – this will be based on the first list you made (what you need from a care service). This includes questions about the services, the staff, the visiting process, fees, and the key terms and conditions. It is a good idea to have a family member or trusted friend with you during the interviews to help keep track of the questions and answers. The agency should respond with a Personal Care Plan which should include an assessment visit to your home.
Follow the process above and you will be in a good position to make the decision about which home care agency is the right one for you.