Use these five factors when choosing a home care provider to ensure you select the option that’s right for you or your loved one’s needs.
Choosing a home care provider is one of the most important decisions you’ll make for yourself or your loved one. The option you select will determine how the arrangement is administered and could impact the quality of care you receive. Here, we’ll look at some of the things you should think about when choosing a home care provider.
HOW TO CHOOSE A HOME CARE AGENCY:
These are the five main differentiating factors to consider when choosing a home care provider:
1. Type of care provider
When choosing a care provider, you can divide home care providers into two primary groups; introduction agencies and employment businesses.
An introduction agency maintains a roster of self-employed carers. It generally charges a fee for introducing you to a live-in carer it recommends. This carer will stay for a limited period (usually up to eight weeks).
Introductory agencies aren’t usually regulated, meaning they’re not subject to external quality or safety standard audits.
Employment businesses, such as The Good Care Group, are fully regulated. This means we must comply with, or exceed, quality and safety standards set out by national care bodies.
The Good Care Group is an employment business that goes beyond the basics, offering a fully managed live-in care service.
We assign every client a dedicated Care Manager and Regional Manager. The Care Manager will accompany the assigned carer on their first day of service, check in regularly to ensure everything is running smoothly and be on hand 24/7 for any ad hoc queries.
This proactive approach helps give those receiving care, and their loved ones, absolute peace of mind.
2. Different types of care
When choosing a home care provider, you want to ensure they have ample experience in providing the type of care you need. This is especially important if you need help with complex medical needs such as dementia care or Parkinson’s care.
One way that you can determine the expertise of a home care agency is by asking whether they have any in-house clinical experts. These include admiral nurses for dementia care or occupational therapists for mobility concerns.
At The Good Care Group, we have over 10 years of experience in providing families with high quality, complex care services. Our experienced full time clinical leads – a Consultant Admiral Nurse and an Occupational Therapist – are both experts in a range of conditions. Our management team consists of nursing professionals and they guide our carers to provide safe and effective nurse-led care at home.
The complex conditions we care for includes, but is not limited to:
- Degenerative conditions – like dementia, Parkinson’s disease and Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
- Cancer care
- Stroke care
- Palliative care (end-of-life care)
- Post-operative health care
- Respiratory conditions – like COPD
- Congenital disease
- General frailty
3. Training and selection
Standards of carer selection and training vary greatly across the home care sector.
Some home care providers take a hands-off approach, requiring only basic certification to take carers onto their books, and providing few ongoing training and development initiatives.
The Good Care Group takes on just 5% of applicants who apply for a carer position and has developed a training process that extends far beyond regulatory requirements.
Carers continue to receive specialist and refresher training while on placement, as well as mentoring from a Regional Care Manager.
Unlike other live-in care providers, we continually invest in the professional development of our carers, enabling us to cultivate a motivated, experienced and loyal workforce. This includes professional training and mentoring from a Regional Care Manager.
We recognise that the quality of our staff defines the quality of our service. That’s why we offer a range of incentives to ensure we recruit the most talented people.
We also invest in care innovation, taking steps to implement new systems that support information sharing and other related processes. These standards allow us to deliver exceptional continuity of care, based on an in-depth understanding of our clients’ needs and preferences.
4. Industry standing and participation
Home care providers are assessed by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), and derive much of their reputation from their standing within the industry.
The majority of the UK’s approximately 1,120 care providers (675) are ranked as ‘good’, while 424 fail to meet this standard altogether.
The Good Care Group is among the top 2% of care providers, having been ranked ‘outstanding’ by CQC. The company has supported the NHS in providing insight for influential white papers, as well as working with leading charities, including:
- Dementia UK
- Alzheimer’s UK
- Parkinson’s UK
- Contented Dementia Trust
- MS Society
- Stroke Association
Through our association with these charities, and ongoing professional development initiatives, our careers are able to utilise a high level of medical expertise, most notably in the field of dementia.
We can support complex conditions such as this, in a safe and supportive way within the home environment – helping to improve the well-being of our clients.
5. Client feedback
Client feedback is vital when choosing a home care provider.
In many cases (especially among introductory agencies), the quality of care you or your loved one receives will depend on the individual carer, meaning feedback is often variable.
The Good Care Group works tirelessly to ensure the highest possible standards for clients, and welcomes the consistently high standard of feedback received.
Our service puts your quality of life at its centre, with specialist staff and processes to support condition-specific needs and personal preferences.
Use these four factors as a basis for choosing a home care provider, and ensure you select the option that best supports your independence and overall well-being.
Find out more about how The Good Care Group will strive to maintain the highest care standards for you or your loved one by speaking to our friendly team.
IMPORTANT QUESTIONS TO ASK A HOME CARE AGENCY
Once you have created a shortlist of potential home care agencies, it is important to ask them certain questions to ensure they can meet your needs and requirements.
Look through the following list of questions and note the ones that matter most to you.
- How do you recruit your carers?
- What training or qualifications do your carers have?
- Do your carers undergo a criminal records check, such as a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check?
- Are you able to offer 24-hour home care?
- Do you offer domiciliary care or visiting care?
- Will my loved one receive home care from a consistent caregiver or different people?
- What is the minimum number of hours you offer per week?
- Can you provide home care for specialist conditions such as dementia, Parkinson’s or end of life?
- Do you currently provide home care for people with similar needs to mine?
- How will you involve family and friends?
- Are the services you offer available in my area?
- Will my carer live nearby?
- Does your service enable me to socialise and get out of the house?
- Is it possible to arrange a short trial period?
- How do I terminate the service? How much notice is required?