Those looking for a home care agency to assist them with their needs, or the needs of a loved one, are advised to ask a number of questions before they choose which is the best agency for their requirements.
An agency will provide services via a trained team of care workers, and this may mean that you won’t always have the same person visiting your home. It’s therefore important to know the exactly how the agency hires those that work for them, so you know that your loved one will be receiving a service that is consistently professional. Don’t be afraid to ask your chosen agency the following:
• How strict is the interview process for your care workers?
• Do all of your care workers undergo a criminal records check?
• What type of training, qualifications and experience do your care workers have?
• What will happen if my chosen care worker is unable to make it to work?
• How many different care workers should I/my relative expect to see in the space of a week/month? Is it possible to choose a regular care worker?
The needs of your relative
When you choose to work with a home care agency, the most important thing to know is that your relative’s needs are going to be met. You need to choose an agency that will be happy to openly discuss these needs and have the solutions in place to meet them no matter what.
• How will you assess my relative’s needs?
• Are you able to find a care worker that can visit my relative at the times required?
• What happens if my relative and your chosen care worker are not compatible?
• What is the procedure if there is a medical emergency? Who will you contact?
• How will the care worker enter my relative’s home? How will this information be secure?
Your chosen agency should have strict procedures in place to ensure that safety and comfort of your relative at all times.
• How do you ensure that the quality of care is always met?
• How will your staff maintain my relative’s privacy and dignity?
• What procedures do you have in place to protect my relative from neglect, self-harm, etc.?
• How will your staff handle my relative’s money?
• What procedures are in place if there is evidence of neglect, theft?
You might also want to delve into the legal requirements that you/the agency may need to consider such as signing a contract and the terms of payment.
• Do you have a standard contract for your work with private clients?
• How can I pay for your services and when will this be required?
• Are there any extra charges for overnight stays/weekends/bank holidays?
• What insurance do you have in place to protect my relative?