Homecare FAQs

What area does Gardiner’s cover?

We provide home care services within a 10 mile catchment of our offices in Caversham. If you live more than 10 miles out, we may struggle to provide our shorter, domiciliary care visits, but may be able to provide longer daytime or overnight duties, so do still call us. 

We provide home care services (domiciliary care services) in the Reading area and South Oxfordshire – so Reading, Henley, Caversham, Sonning Common, Goring & Streatley, Pangbourne etc.

Will you visit for less than 1 hour?

We believe quality person-centered care cannot be delivered in a rushed visit.  Our minimum visit duration is 1 hour per duty.  We like to build relationships.  Remember, we can get involved with all areas of your care – cleaning, bedsheets, meals – so do have a chat with us.

Should we decide to come to you, what happens next?

When would you like us to start?  Our first step is for you to tell us what times/days you require the support, along with a preferred start date. We like to check our Care Worker capacity before we do anything else – we would hate to come out and take your time doing an assessment to then discover we haven’t got the staff available.

Once you are happy with the offering, we will need you to sign our Terms and Conditions. This can be done online or in person and can be signed by the person overseeing the invoices or the client themselves. Once these are in, we can arrange the assessment and begin the care.  All this can be done as quickly as you need it to – we have Outstanding for being Responsive on our CQC inspection, so you are in safe hands.

How can I pay for your services?

We ask all clients to pay by direct debit.  Where this isn’t possible, a deposit equivalent to 2 weeks care needs to be paid.  There is also an additional charge of £3 per week.

How quickly can I increase the amount of care I receive?

We can increase your care package with minimal notice. Just pick up the phone and we will do everything we can to help.

Can I cancel individual duties if they are not needed?

Yes, any duty can be cancelled. You will be charged 50% for each duty, no matter how much notice is given, as we like to pay your Care Worker. We will only charge where a Care Worker was booked.

What notice do I need to provide to cancel the service or reduce my care package?

To cancel your care package or reduce it, 14 days’ notice is required.

What happens if I am admitted to hospital?

Please let us know as soon as you can and keep in touch throughout your stay – we will be concerned about you. The 50% cancellation charge applies for the first 14 days, this allows us to keep your team available and ready to resume care. After 14 days, your team will be reallocated elsewhere unless you request that we maintain the team and continue to pay the 50% charges.

Can I get help overnight?

Yes, we can offer both waking nights and sleeping services.

For sleeping nights, we would prefer our Care Worker to have a bed in a separate room, however, we know this is not always possible, so please discuss the options with us.  They will bring their own bedding, so you won’t need to worry about any extra washing.  Between 10pm to 6am, they should receive at least 5 hours of sleep with no more than 2 calls an hour apart.  If any of these conditions aren’t met, then it the duty becomes a waking night.

The expectations for waking nights can differ – some of our client’s require us to be busy all night, as they may struggle to rest themselves. Other families may just require a waking presence. Whatever your needs, we will discuss together and make a clear plan, for example,  wearing pyjamas to indicate it’s nighttime for a client with dementia or getting on top of the ironing – it’s all about you.

What happens on bank holidays?

Bank holidays are charged at double the usual weekday day time or off-peak rate.  You can cancel these duties without charge provided at least 14 days’ notice is given.  Please note that the bank holiday rate also applies on Christmas Eve from 6pm, New Years Eve from 6pm as well as Christmas Day and Boxing Day if either fall on a Saturday or Sunday.

Can I contact you outside office hours and in an emergency?

Yes, our office hours are Monday to Friday 8 am to 5 pm. Outside of these hours, our office team operates an emergency on-call service for use by the existing Service Users and Care Workers only.

Will I have the same care worker every day?

We aim to provide you with a small team of regular Care Workers – the smaller the better, as new faces can be daunting. This team will repeat, week in week out, so that you get to know one another and relationships can be built. Our aim is for you to look forward to our visits.

Will my Care Workers come at a specific time?

Yes.  We don’t operate an arrival ‘window’, so to speak. Our Care Workers will arrive at the time specified by you at the start of the service. If, for some unavoidable reason, they are running late i.e traffic, we will call you to let you know.

What happens if my regular Care Worker is sick or on holiday?

If your regular Care Worker is sick or on holiday, we will aim to supply an alternative care worker who has visited you before and already knows you. Before sending a new Care Worker we will contact you to advise that someone new is visiting and to tell you a little about them.

Can you help me with my medication?

Yes, our Care Workers can follow your instructions or have more involvement by prompting or administering your medication. It is preferable for you to have a “Nomad” dispensing system set up with your chemist.  We cannot administer any medication that has been put into a pill box by anyone other than a pharmacist.

I won’t be able to get to the door to let care workers in – what should I do?

The simplest way to solve this is to have a Key-safe fitted to the outside of your property allowing your trusted care workers to let themselves in.  The key safe number is kept confidential and will be given on a need to know basis

How will my safety and well-being be protected?

Gardiner’s leaves no stone unturned when recruiting our staff. It is vitally important to us that we recruit people with a genuine caring nature, that are honest and trustworthy with the right skills and experience to make excellent Care Workers. We also conduct values-based interviews with every candidate, before taking up both professional and character references. Before starting work, all staff are subject to a DBS check, previously known as a CRB or police check.

All Gardiner’s Care Workers undertake initial and ongoing training to make sure they are competent to provide care at home. We observe our Care Workers providing care, we follow up and investigate any incidents or issues that are reported, and we regularly meet with Care Workers to discuss their performance.

If ever you do not feel comfortable or entirely satisfied with a care worker, you simply need to call the office to let us know that you would prefer that they do not visit again. We will explore this further with you so that we can understand the problem and provide feedback to the Care Worker. 

How will you look after us, as a family?

From the very outset, you will have your own Care Manager, who will look after all your needs. The Care Managers at Gardiner’s have a wealth of knowledge and decades of experience between them. There’s not much about the local community/health service that they don’t know. They will manage your Care Plan, keeping it person centred and up to date.