Starting to think about your care needs can be daunting and so on this page we look at ‘How to arrange care at home’.
Homecare is most often the first choice for people who need help with their personal care to lead independent lives. Homecare, also known as domiciliary care or care at home, is a term for support provided in the home by careworkers to assist someone with their daily life. Enabling people to remain at home helps them maintain personal independence, comfort and contact with their local community.
Homecare is flexible, with just the right amount of assistance given at any one time. You may only require a small amount of support – from just one short visit a week, to several hours a day, or even live-in care. The service may be on a temporary or long-term basis.
How to arrange care at home
Hopefully, by virtue of the fact that you are reading this page, you will have heard good things about Gardiner’s Homecare. There are many, many providers that offer care at home and your first step should be to identify a list of providers that can help in your area.
- Homecare Association – find local homecare
- CQC website – find services offering care in the home
- Homecare.co.uk – reviews for homecare providers
- Google ‘Homecare in my area’
If you think you may be entitled to free or subsidised homecare, you can contact your local council’s Social Services department for assistance.
Make a shortlist
Make an initial shortlist of providers that you have identified. Read their website and social media. Take a look at the reviews on Homecare.co.uk and Google, if there are lots of reviews including recent submissions that is a good sign. Read the most recent CQC inspection report (these have been suspended for most providers since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic). Finally, speak to friends and people you know who have experience of care at home in the area you are needing help.
Pick up the phone
The next step is to telephone one or two homecare agencies to have a chat about arranging care. A wide range of services are available and providers are usually happy to design a care service for your particular needs. Some questions you may which to ask are detailed below – choose two or three that are particularly important to you:
- Can you provide the care that I need and meet my personal preferences?
- How will you and your staff respect my privacy and dignity?
- Have you cared for someone with similar needs to mine?
- How will you match the most suitable careworker for my needs?
- Is your organisation a member of the Homecare Association, committed to complying with their Code of Practice?
- Are you required to register with a statutory regulator and if so, are you currently registered?
- Is your organisation insured in order to protect my safety and interests?
Questions about recruitment and training
- Do you interview all your care workers before offering them work?
- Are at least two written references obtained from your careworkers’ previous employers?
- Do all your careworkers undergo a criminal record disclosure from the Disclosure and Barring Service?
- What sort of training do your careworkers receive before they start work and during their employment?
- What proportion of your careworkers and managers have obtained a recognised qualification in health and social care or management?
Questions to understand the service
- If my care isn’t provided by a local council, do you have a standard contract that I can read before signing?
- Can I contact your agency during the day, outside office hours and in an emergency?
- What happens if my regular careworker is sick or on holiday?
Questions about charges
- What charges, if any, will I be expected to pay?
- What payment methods are available (cheque, direct debit etc)?
- Is there a minimum charge if I only need a small amount of care?
- Are there any hidden extras in the prices you quote? (Prices normally include National Insurance contributions, travel expenses and any VAT payable.)