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What Steps Do I Take to Find Elderly Home Care?

How do I find elderly home care?

If you are looking for elderly care for a loved one, it is important to have a clear idea of what kind of care they need and what level of help they require.

Some older people can manage to retain their independence with just a little input from a carer who will help with tasks they can no longer manage, but others may need 24-hour care, to ensure that they can remain safely in their own home.

Step 1 – Decide on your loved one’s specific requirements

It can be useful to list exactly what your loved one wants from the home care provider, so sit down with them and talk about the activities that they need help or support with. In addition to help with personal care, older people often find that they need assistance with more general household tasks, such as laundry and meal preparation. If this is the case, then live-in care can be a very cost effective option.

Not only will the carer be available to help with things such as washing, dressing and mobility issues, they will also carry out other domestic tasks. If your loved one is at risk of falls or needs someone around to keep them safe, care at home from a live-in carer can give you the peace of mind you need, if you are unable to be with them as much as you would like.

Step 2 – Search for suitable care providers

When your loved one’s needs have been clearly identified, you need to find a reputable care provider. It is possible to employ a carer privately, but this can be fraught with difficulties. If you are able to find a suitable carer, you would need to make extensive checks before offering them employment.

A contract of employment would have to be drawn up and you would need to take financial considerations such as National Insurance contributions, income tax and pension contributions into account. Another problem with arranging elderly care privately for your loved one is the need to cover time off and holidays.

Some companies are simply introductory agencies and do not directly employ carers. Although they may screen potential employees, you still have the same legal and financial responsibilities regarding the employment as you would if you found the carer privately.

A care provider will not only carry out all the necessary pre-employment checks, but will also ensure that the carer has the training they need to provide the high quality care your loved one needs, and when the carer needs time off, their place will be filled by another appropriately trained and experienced carer. Some care providers cover a limited area, but others, such as Elder, can provide live-in care at home throughout the UK.

Dulcie’s care story

Dulcie is one of our longest serving customers. In this video, she and her family talk through their decision to arrange care in the home rather than the care home.

Living with Live in Care: Dulcie's Story

Step 3 – Question potential care providers

Ask possible care providers about their recruitment procedures and how they choose the carers they employ. DBS checks should be carried out on anyone who works with vulnerable older people, and care providers should also ensure that the carer is legally entitled to work in the UK.

If your loved one has specific needs, ask the care provider about how these would be met. Companies such as Elder will aim to match their live-in carers with the specific care recipient, so that in addition to being able to meet their physical support needs, they will also be able to support them in social activities or interests.

Although you may have a good idea of your loved one’s needs, the care provider should draw up a detailed care plan that outlines the care required. You and your loved one should be involved in this so that the carer is aware of their needs, likes and dislikes and individual requirements.

Having a live-in carer means that your loved one will be able to make choices about all aspects of their daily activities, such as what time to get up, what to wear, what to eat and how to spend their time.

Step 4 – Check care providers’ experience

If your loved one has a condition such as Alzheimer’s disease or another type of dementia, they may need a carer who is specially trained and experienced in dementia care and this should be clarified at the start. People living with dementia are often much more happy and settled if they are able to remain in their own familiar environment, so care at home is the ideal solution.

Care companies such as Elder ensure that their carers have the training they need to care for people with a wide range of problems. If your loved one has had a stroke, has diabetes or needs special help with other conditions such as multiple sclerosis, they can still be supported to remain in their own home and live as independently as possible. Palliative care in the home can also be arranged to make this stage of your loved one’s life as relaxed and comfortable as it can be.

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