5 questions to ask when choosing a live-in care provider
Making the decision to find a live-in carer can feel a little bit like walking across a minefield. How can you work out who the best person will be for you? After all, they’ll be in your home every day, providing 24-hour care in some cases.
With live-in care services especially, you need to be sure you’ve chosen someone you can get on with, and someone you feel comfortable and confident to share your days with.
That’s why we wanted to run through some of the most important things to look out for. Because if this is the first time you’re going through the process, it’s only natural you’ll need a little support to make sure you get the best outcome.
1. Is your live-in carer managed?
If you’re not familiar with the system, this might seem like an odd question. But live-in home care services vary, that’s why you need to understand exactly what you’re signing up to.
At Promedica24, we employ dedicated care managers who oversee the personal care we’re providing. They continually review and tweak care plans to make sure we’re providing the best level of service and they offer extra peace of mind so, should any issues arise, there is someone on hand to deal with them.
However, that is not always the case.
When organising live-in care packages, some providers act as nothing more than an introductory agency. That means once you’ve met the person who will be providing you with one-to-one care, you’re on your own with them.
2. Is this care agency CQC accredited?
CQC stands for the Care Quality Commission and is the public arm of the Department of Health and Social Care. It’s the body that oversees standards of care in the UK, providing the benchmark for professional carers. One way to make sure you receive high-quality care is to check that the live-in care agency you choose holds this CQC accreditation.
When you start to look around you’ll spot that some agencies will be CQC accredited for their domiciliary care provision but not for their live-in care. As Promedica specialises in this area, we’ve worked hard to make sure our care team holds the live-in care element of this CQC accreditation too.
You’ll usually find the CQC logo on a care agency’s website, otherwise you can simply ask whether they’re accredited.
3. Can the carer or agency supply testimonials and references?
When you’re choosing any service, you want to know that the company you’re using always does their best to do a good job. And finding the right live-in carer is no exception. These days you can usually look for a company online and find out exactly what other people think of them. From how agency carers interact with the people they are caring for, to whether previous customers think they got good value for money. It’s all there in black and white.
And what’s more, you can look out for specific information that you’re particularly interested in. For example, if you’ve recently received a dementia diagnosis and you’re looking for quality dementia care options for the future, you might find that someone has written a comment about the agency’s approach. And you can see if it aligns with the kind of care you would like to receive.
If you can’t find anything online, ask the company or carer directly. If they don’t provide anything or you spot red flags in anything you read, our advice is to keep searching.
4. Does the company talk to you directly?
We’re writing this blog post directly to you because, as far as we’re concerned, you are the most important person here. If we addressed your loved ones instead (as many care companies seem to do!), we would be effectively giving them permission to make all the decisions on your behalf. Which doesn’t seem very fair.
We pride ourselves on having an approachable team and treating the people we care for as individuals. So we will always explain things directly, rather than talking over your head to a family member or loved one.
How a company interacts with you when they’re selling their service gives a good indication of how they’ll treat you when it comes to providing that service too.
5. What does your gut say?
We’re great believers in gut reaction and with such a wide range of care services on offer, sometimes the only way to make a decision is to focus on how it makes you feel.
Think about exactly what you need from the care you’re looking for, is it every day tasks like meal planning? Domestic tasks like cleaning or pet care? Or is it overnight care, round the clock care, support for specific medical conditions or even palliative care? Write a list of the key things.
Next, talk to a representative from the live-in care agency you’ve chosen and ask them to tell you about their approach to those types of care.
Do you feel comfortable with the person you’re speaking to? Do you trust they have your best interests at heart? And do you feel confident that they can meet the promises they’re making?
If the answer to any of these is ‘no’, perhaps you should look for a different care option.
Choosing a care provider, particularly one who will be living in your home, is always a difficult decision. But you’ll usually get the best outcome when you concentrate on getting the highest quality care and the right level of care for your needs.
Hopefully this post has given you some food for thought when it comes to the questions you should be asking and the things you’ll need to consider. So whether you simply need companionship care or you are looking for more complex care, you’ll be able to find the right care workers for your situation.