How do I choose a home care agency?
Choosing a home care agency can be a daunting experience, particularly if it’s something you’ve never had to think about before. Here is a brief guide to help you choose the right care agency for your loved one and ensure that they receive the quality care they deserve.
How do I choose a home care agency?
If you have a loved one who is in need of care or is likely to be in need of care in the near future, you will no doubt have a lot of questions. Choosing a home care agency can be a daunting experience, particularly if it’s something you’ve never had to think about before. Here is a brief guide to help you choose the right care agency for your loved one and ensure that they receive the quality care they deserve.
Compile a list of what you require from a care agency
The first step is to be clear as to your requirements. No two individuals have exactly the same care needs so it’s important that you think carefully about what your loved one needs. Be honest and realistic; if you currently care for the individual yourself but are finding it too much, think about how much time you can commit to continuing to care but be sure not to over-stretch yourself. Here are some of the main things to consider when compiling your list:
- How often do you want the carer to visit?
- What is your budget?
- What time of day do you want the carer to visit and on how many days of the week?
- Are there any special requirements, such as dementia care or other health matters?
- Are there any special activities you want the carer to undertake?
- What does the care recipient need help with and how often?
- How many hours and days of the week can you afford to have the carer visit?
- What level of care is needed? Is full-time care required or a lower level of companion care?
This can be harder than it sounds, so liaise with friends and family members who are also involved with the care recipient in order to build up the fullest possible picture of their care needs. Think very carefully about the level of home care your loved one needs. Are they struggling to cope with most everyday tasks or are they fairly independent and needing a less involved and less frequent level of care?
Have they been merely coping for some time but could do with regular support to make their life easier? Do they need a care at home service every day of the week, or would just a few days suffice? Will friends or family members be available to check in on them between care visits if necessary? Once your list is complete, you’re ready to move onto the next step.
List all the potentially suitable care agencies
There are numerous online directories with the details of care agencies so you should have no trouble putting together a comprehensive list. Ask friends, family members and colleagues to ask around for recommendations too if you don’t know anyone with experience of care agencies. Someone is bound to know someone else who can recommend a care agency they’ve used.
It’s also vital that you check that any agencies on your list are regulated by the healthcare regulator. This will give you peace of mind, as any such agencies will have passed checks and inspections to ensure that they provide a high level of care. You should, in addition, check that any shortlisted agencies are members of the United Kingdom Homecare Association (UKHCA). The association publishes a Code of Practice for all members to adhere to.
Dulcie is one of our longest serving customers. In this short video, she talks through the reasons behind her, and her family’s decision to choose full-time home care rather than the care home.
Finalise your shortlist
After compiling your list, if it’s a little long, you’ll need to cut it down to make your search more manageable. The field of elderly care is highly competitive in some areas so don’t worry if you have to remove several agencies from your list. There will be plenty more that are suitable. Research each of the agencies and try to find reviews online. Find out what services they offer and eliminate any that don’t fulfil all your requirements. Make sure you also discount any that aren’t registered or accredited by the relevant bodies.
Contact the agencies, one by one
Call each of the agencies, and meet with any you like the sound of where possible. Don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions or to take notes during this process. Feel free to ask a friend or relative to join you if this makes you feel more comfortable. Remember that you are interviewing the care agencies and it’s up to you who you hire. A reputable care agency will be able to answer all your questions and provide reassurance about your loved one’s care. Ask for references from satisfied clients.
While researching and choosing a care agency might seem like a lot of work, you’ll know when you find the perfect match for your loved one. You should feel comfortable around the agency staff and should be confident that your family member or friend will receive a high level of care. And remember, you can always switch to another agency at a later date if you aren’t happy for any reason.
Finally, size matters! The very best agencies need to have reached critical mass in order to build a substantial base of suitably qualified and vetted carers. Not only does this ensure the best possible fit in terms of skills and personality traits that will work best for your loved one, but it ensures that the agency can rapidly provide a substitute in the event of illness or absence.
Alzheimer's: What You Need to Know to Provide the Right Care for Your Loved One
A diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease can be painful and upsetting, both for the person receiving the news and for their family and friends. You will almost certainly be concerned about how this condition will impact their day-to-day lives, both now and as it progresses. Alzheimer’s Disease affects a person’s memory but it can also mean they struggle with routine daily tasks such as washing, dressing, cooking and eating, and they may no longer be able to continue living independently. They might also exhibit challenging behaviour, which can be difficult to deal with.
An Overview of Elderly Live-in Care
Rather than having to move out of familiar surroundings and learn to adapt to a completely new way of life, care-at-home packages allow your loved one to remain in the familiar surroundings of their own home, with help available throughout the day and night to provide assistance wherever, and whenever, it is needed.
Dementia Live-in Care: How to Choose a Provider
There are many things to consider when deciding on a live-in care provider for your loved one. The right support can help those with dementia to continue to live their lives as independently as possible. There are various details that you will want to check before selecting a provider so that you can find the best possible option for your family member.
Dementia Live-in Care: How to Find a Carer
If you have a loved one who is living with dementia, you will want to ensure that they enjoy the best quality of life they can. Care at home is an ideal solution, but finding a caregiver you can rely on to provide support and companionship 24 hours a day is not always straightforward. There two main options when searching for a live-in carer for your loved one; private arrangements or employing a specialist care provider.
Elderly Care at Home: How Do I Find a Live-in Carer?
With an increasingly elderly demographic there are now more older people in the UK than ever before, many of whom require assistance with their day-to-day lives. Many of us will face the prospect of our parents or other relatives needing help, and knowing the best options for care can be a great comfort.
How Do I Find the Right Home Help Provider?
If your elderly loved one is in need of care, you should make sure that the person you employ to care for them is honest and trustworthy and has the necessary skills to perform their required tasks appropriately and professionally.
How to Find the Best Home Carer for My Needs
There are so many reasons you may feel independent living in their own home is the only choice you would consider for your loved one. Whilst in the past this wasn’t a viable option for many people, private live-in care introductory agencies like Elder have now made home care services more accessible and affordable.
How to prepare a house for home care
This brief guide will help you to identify the things you’ll need to think about to prepare a loved ones home for 24/7 home care. The steps you’ll need to take to get the home fully prepared will vary depending on the nature of the care required.
Live-in Care: How to Choose a Provider
Arranging live-in care for your loved one will enable them to continue living independently in their own home where they feel safe and comfortable, but with the added security of all the help and companionship they need twenty-four hours a day.
Live-in Care: How to Find a Carer
If you have decided to employ a live-in carer to provide care and support for your loved one, there are various ways you can go about finding a suitable person. This form of elderly care offers the best way of helping an older person to remain safe and independent in their own home when their care needs increase.