There are probably many home care companies servicing your local area, so how do you know which one to choose? Before making any decisions about yours, or a relative’s care, you should gather as much information as possible and make sure your expectations of quality and service are met.
The home care industry is regulated, by the same independent organisation which inspects residential care homes. However all home care providers are different and may provide a range of different services, so it is important to find an agency which best addresses your personal needs and requirements.
When comparing different domiciliary care companies and providers, here are some factors to consider.
Budget and requirements
If you are organising care for a loved one, have a conversation with them about their care requirements. You may need to explain exactly what is needed and which tasks they need help and support with. You should also set out how many visits per week your relative requires, and the maximum care budget they have.
Before you contact a provider to enquire about their services, make sure they are regulated by the Care Quality Commission. The government body inspects all home care companies and publishes reports on safety and quality standards, which are available for members of the publ
ic to read. The reports are published online and can help you make decisions about which care providers to trust.
Once you are satisfied with the findings from the provider’s most recent CQC report, it’s time to find out what other service users are saying. Does the home care provider have a lot of testimonials and positive reviews on their website? Do the testimonials look real and believable? Beware fake reviews! As well as reading online reviews about the care company, why not ask around in the local area and speak to a service user first hand who can be an advocate for the care provider.
Once you have a shortlist of recommended care providers in your community (which you can get from your local authority), it’s time to find out more information to make the final decision. Make contact with the companies and make sure they can provide everything you need. Find out more about both the provider and their care workers – what is the company mission and what safety procedures are in place? Never be afraid of asking too many questions – here is a suggested list of enquiries you should ask a home care provider before signing a contract.
Choosing a home care provider isn’t easy. We are here to answer any questions you may have about the process and offer guidance in making the right choice.