Homecare FAQs

Homecare FAQsPlease browse through our Homecare FAQs to find out some of the commonly asked questions about our home care/domiciliary services and to learn more about how it works. If you have Homecare FAQs not covered below then please contact us to ask.

Homecare FAQs

Why choose care at home?

Care at home is also referred to as homecare or domiciliary care. It is a term for the support provided in the home by Care Workers who assist someone with their daily life. Supporting people to remain at home helps them maintain personal independence, as well as contact with friends, family and the local community. Care at home can be flexible, for instance, initially you may only require an hour a week, perhaps later you will increase that to several hours a day, or night duties. You may choose to use the service just for a short while, from time to time or for the long term.


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.  Keep reading for more Homecare FAQs.


Are you required to register with a statutory regulator and if so, are you currently registered?

Yes, Gardiner’s are registered with the Care Quality Commission – click the link to read about our registration and our most recent inspection report. http://www.cqc.org.uk/location/1-114391797


Can I contact you during the day, 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.


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.


What payment methods are available?

We prefer service users to pay by direct debit. Alternatively, you can pay online, our bank details are included on our invoices or you can send a cheque by post.


Do we have to sign a contract?

Yes, we ask you to sign a short contract to protect all parties. We have tried to make the contract as short and easy to read as possible. When you make an enquiry we will post to you our brochure which includes a copy of our service user guide and our terms and conditions.


How much notice do we have to give to stop or reduce the care we receive?

We ask for two weeks’ notice to stop the service as a whole.  Where less than two weeks’ notice is given and the care is not required we charge 50% for these bookings in order to ensure that your carers still get paid a contribution for the time that they have committed.


What happens if a service user is admitted to hospital?

Please call to let us know.  Assuming the care is not needed, care will be suspended.  For the first two weeks after hospital admission, you will be charged 50% for your bookings in order to ensure that your carers still get paid a contribution for the time that they have committed to you and that they remain available.  It may be an option for your care workers to visit you in hospital.  After two weeks, you may opt to keep your care workers in place by continuing to pay 50% for the bookings, or we can reinstate care once you have returned home.  You Care Workers, if still available will be the first to be offered the new duties that you need or would like to resume.  Often when returning from hospital, an increase care is needed, wherever possible we seek to use the Care Worker you know for the new times.    Keep reading for more Homecare FAQs.


Can we change our duty times or what services we have?

Yes – our service user’s needs change all the time. We work closely with service user’s and their families to provide the right care – this might mean changing duty times, increasing or decreasing the amount of care required


What is your minimum duty time?

We are happy to visit for duties shorter than an hour, however, our minimum charge is the same for all duties up to and including 1 hour. The care workers’ time taken to travel to you is not charged.


Where does Gardiner’s provide services, and are you able to provide services where I live?

We primarily provide home care services (domiciliary care services) in the Reading area and South Oxfordshire – so Reading, Henley, Wokingham, Caversham, Sonning Common, Goring & Streatley, Pangbourne etc.  Please contact us to see if we can provide help to you where you live.


Do you also provide care services at the weekend and on Bank Holidays?

Yes, we provide care 365 days a year, 24 hours a day – although higher rates of charge do apply for weekends and Bank Holidays.


Will I have the same care worker every day?

We aim to establish a small team of regular care workers visiting you. We try to avoid having just one care worker assigned to a particular service user since that makes it hard to provide cover should that care worker fall ill or go on holiday, however we do try to keep the number of your care workers to an absolute minimum – it is important to us that our care workers get to know you well.


Can you provide help during the night?

Yes of course – we have many care workers who are willing to support service users at night, either for a waking duty where they stay up with the service user or they can sleep in a separate room and be available for you to call upon if needed.


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.


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. Your care workers can then be told the combination code and will be able to let themselves in.


How can I stay safe in cold weather?

We have written a full resource guide on this subject aimed at both our customers and our care workers to ensure everyone is safe. You can read more at ‘Staying safe in cold weather‘.


Why are eyesight tests so important and what should I do if I struggle to visit the opticians?

We have written an article which explains why regular eye tests are so important, as well as advice about what to do if you struggle to attend your opticians and advice about the further help that is available to those with poor eye sight.  You can read more at ‘The importance of sight test for those receiving care at home‘.


Do you have any other Homecare FAQs? If so please let us know about the Homecare FAQ which you would like answered via our contact page.