What to Look for in Exceptional Home Care for Your Loved One
9th March 2023
Choosing the right home care provider can make a considerable difference to the experiences of you or your loved one: selecting professional, personalised, and compassionate domiciliary care to deliver support, friendship, kindness, and the practical assistance necessary to remain independent in your own home.
There are multiple variables in the types of residential care available, the service you may wish to prioritise, and the quality of the care for clients offered.
Let Guardian Angel Carers explain some of the factors to help you pick excellent care and support, and make informed decisions about the assistance that is essential to the well-being and comfort of your loved one.
Different Types of Private Home Care
Home care services can be organised through local area councils, independent practitioners, or homecare agencies. For many of the people we support, a homecare agency is an optimal choice, with several advantages:
- A qualified, professional care team: if your regular care visitor is unwell or on leave, a homecare agency can assign other trained carers to cover their visits, assuring you that you or your relative will receive the regular visits and support they require.
- High standards: CQC quality marks are a useful tool to see how well your shortlisted home care providers perform, with Outstanding and Good ratings as the highest possible.
- Independence and autonomy: there are many circumstances where you might need to extend or reschedule care and support. Perhaps you are staying with a family member for a few days and will manage their care during that time or want to arrange additional care for a post-hospital period. A private homecare agency works for you and will accommodate your needs with flexibility.
Home care is often an affordable alternative to a residential facility. It enables individuals to live independently, and structure their care around their needs and family without the stress or upheaval of relocating or leaving their own home, possessions and belongings behind them.
Picking a Home Care Provider That Matches Your Expectations
Once you have decided which home care company will provide the right care, you can assess their specific services. Examples include help, personal care, and domiciliary assistance to aid around the home, companionship care, or overnight care and live-in care for around-the-clock peace of mind.
It is also vital to consider the personality, preferences and needs of the individual requiring extra care and support, aside from the practicalities.
Guardian Angel Carers matches every carer with the clients with whom they have the best rapport, often building life-long relationships. We will carry out a full assessment to get a feel for the wishes and requirements of your loved one, such as:
- Do they have pets, and would they like help with grooming, walking, and feeding?
- Would you like a home care professional to prepare fresh meals? If so, when does your loved one prefer to eat, what are their favourite dishes, and are there any things they don’t like?
- What are their hobbies or activities, and how can we support them to continue enjoying the things they love most? That could be reading, attending group activities, crafts, watching a regular programme, or anything else.
- Does your loved one have a schedule or everyday tasks they feel comfortable with? What are the best times for a house visit, how long would you like the care worker to stay, and would you want assistance with dressing, washing, shopping and domestic tasks?
- Is your loved one taking prescribed medications? Do they need to use a medical device such as a blood pressure monitor, and can they use this independently, or would they like a helping hand?
Paying close attention to these details helps us adapt our care for clients to meet their needs and preferences holistically, focusing on person-first, tailored care that improves quality of life and maintains an established routine. We will always go the extra mile.
We recommend you ask as many questions as you like to understand what different home care services involve, and how they will be customised to your loved one.
Creating a Checklist of Home Care Requirements
Some of the fundamental aspects we would suggest you look for in a home care company include the following:
- Full CQC registration: any reputable domiciliary care service must be registered with the care sector regulator. If they have had an inspection, look for a Good or Outstanding rating.
- Professional standards: home care providers should have safeguarding protocols, data security systems, and processes to ensure every home care worker has access to personal care records.
- Communications: care teams should be proactive in keeping family members updated, providing reports and information or simply advising that their loved one has received a homecare visit, is settled and has taken any prescribed medication on time.
- Location: locally managed home care teams are preferable since they are responsive and can support your loved one in many ways, from attending community events to helping them navigate public transport networks and being available and flexible for additional care visits as required.
- Transparent costs: care costs are always a consideration, and we appreciate that families need a clear idea about their care budget. Home care agencies should provide accurate costs or inform you of any additional costs associated with changing the required services or number of care visits.
Care is personal, and the best care for your loved one should always be primarily based on their preferences, independence, and right to stay in their home, with the extra care required to remain healthy and well.
Hiring an Experienced Private Home Care Agency
Experience is important, particularly if you need to organise a home care service for a loved one with specific needs, medical conditions, or mental health conditions that a carer should be aware of.
Skilled care workers will be happy to share their knowledge, make suggestions, and provide advice and guidance to enable you to select the right level of extra care, visiting care or live-in care, structured around your loved one's wishes.
Specialist care can include post-hospital support, respite care, long-term live-in or palliative care, and support with dementia and Alzheimer's care, among many other conditions, such as stroke rehabilitation or joint replacement care.
Take your time to assess your requirements and keep your loved one fully involved and in control of their own care decisions – it is not something you should ever feel pressured to rush, and exploring options and meeting with a local care service will help you select the perfect home care provider with confidence.