How to choose the best home care agency
It is a big decision to decide whether you or your loved one may need home care but if you believe this to be the case, here is how to choose the best home care agency to suit your needs and budget.
Understand what type of care you need
The first step to choosing a home care agency is to decide the type of care that is needed. Home care can come in many different forms and can include home help, care attendants, personal assistants, and carers. Many people need help in the home with personal care and hygiene, meal preparation or cleaning and tidying whereas others may need more specific nursing and healthcare. Often, people can choose home care simply for companionship. Not only will it allow people to keep their independence but home care is flexible and can be provided for short periods of time right through to care 24-hours a day. It can also be emergency care or respite care, allowing a primary caregiver to take a break from their role.
Request a care assessment
If you believe that you or a loved one may need some care at home, you can contact a local authority who will undertake a care assessment. This will give you an idea of exactly what type of care will be the most suitable and the local authority will give you an idea of how much this will cost and how they can help. Often, agency care can still be partially funded by a local authority.
Work out the costs for home care
The costs of care are usually paid at an hourly rate, particularly when used in the short term. UK Care Guide has a calculator that allows you to estimate how much it will cost you to receive care in your home and this can help you to think about budgeting.
Search for a home care provider in Beckenham
Finding a home care provider in your local area shouldn’t be difficult, but you should always make sure that the independent provider that you choose is regulated by the Care Qualities Commission. This means that they must reach a certain standard in areas such as training and record-keeping and will give you peace of mind that you or your loved one is being cared for by a qualified professional. A DBS check is also something that is recommended for home carers. Once you have found a few suitable home care providers, contact the agency and arrange for them to meet you before you make your final decision.
Ask certain questions about home care
Questions that you should ask during the meeting can be split into three areas: questions about the home care agency, questions about the care worker and questions about your needs. Some of the most important questions are:
- Will you have to pay more for care during the night, on weekends or bank holidays.
- Is the agency covered by insurance in case of damage to property by the carerCan you engage in a trial period to see if the agency is suitable for you.
- What qualifications and/or training does the carer have
- Will there be a continuity of care.
- How often will the agency speak to you about how they are meeting your needs.
- How will the agency determine who the right carer is for you/your loved one.