For those who require help around the home, finding the right level of care is crucial
Finding the right round-the-clock home care support is extremely important for those who require help around the house, but it is also a process that needs to be undertaken carefully. After all, you will be inviting care workers into your home, or the home of a loved one, and this requires a great deal of trust.
At Abbots Care, we understand exactly how important this decision is and why people agonise over finding the best possible option. It is for this reason that we have produced this post, which will outline the various steps that should be taken on the road to finding the ideal home or domiciliary care for your needs.
Clarify Your Care Needs
The first step towards finding the right help is to actually clarify what your care needs are. If you are the person in need of care, it may be helpful to speak to loved ones about this and create a list of specific needs. If you are arranging care for a loved one, sit down with them and find out precisely what they need.
It is important to be as specific as possible. Are there needs related to medication? Could support be needed out of hours? Are all of the care requirements based in the home, or might they need help with shopping or other tasks? Is help needed for cooking and cleaning? Is there a companionship element? Are the needs short-term or long-term?
For many people, the best step is to contact their local authority and request a needs assessment. They will then be able to tell you the extent of the help they can provide, both in terms of care and in terms of financial assistance. That will then provide you with a clearer idea of what you need and how much it might cost.
Search For Care Providers
The next step is to carry out your search for home care providers in the local area, who appear to meet your needs and who meet various other criteria. First, you need to check their accreditations.
Home care providers are regulated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and this is mandatory. High-quality care agencies will make their ratings from inspections by industry regulators available.
In addition, any agency you choose should be a member of the United Kingdom Homecare Association (UKHCA). Membership of the UKHCA is not mandatory but will ensure they have a code of practice that they adhere to.
Moreover, you should take a look at the services listed on their website and read customer reviews.
On the Abbots Care website, you will clearly see that we are regulated by the Care Quality Commission and are members of the United Kingdom Homecare Association. During our last inspection from the CQC, we were rated as ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ in each of the individual areas.
We are an endorsed care training provider by Skills for Care and we have testimonials on our website from service users, relatives of service users, commissioners from Hertfordshire County Council and care workers who have worked for us. This is the kind of transparency you should look for when evaluating potential providers.
Talk to Providers and Carers
Next, you need to narrow down your shortlist of potential providers by speaking to them, asking them questions and understanding the extent and quality of the care they can provide. Do not be afraid to ask anything, as any agency worth its salt will understand the need to ask questions and will be more than happy to answer.
In particular, you should ask about the hourly charge, as well as costs associated with insurance. You should establish precisely what level of care the agency can provide, what training they provide for their care workers, and whether they are able to help with things like shopping, meal preparation, medication and complex health care.
You should also speak to them about regulations. Which specific care activities are they regulated to carry out? Are there any areas where they have been rated as in need of improvement? If you are unable to find it online, ask to see a copy of their latest inspection report, and confirm that they carry out Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks. These are known as Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) checks in Scotland.
The Final Word
Ultimately, choosing the right domiciliary care provider requires you to make a judgement call, based on your own specific needs and the information that is available to you. Generally speaking, the best thing to do is clarify your needs, research providers in your local area, ask questions and seek out opinions from service users.
High-quality care providers will openly provide testimonials from service users. They will be members of the United Kingdom Homecare Association and will be regulated by the Care Quality Commission, or an equivalent. They should also be perfectly happy to answer questions, provide details of inspection findings and deliver recognised care training for their employees, so these should be key considerations when choosing between care providers.