If you want your loved one to be able to live independently, in the comfort of their own home, home care is 100% the way forward. I thought it would be useful to outline what to consider when exploring your care at home options.
Think about what assistance is needed
Home care companies like ourselves provide a whole host of different services, so its always a good idea to sit down with your loved one and decide what the key areas of assistance required are. We always ask people who get in touch with us to talk us through a “normal day” and then go from there. Some of the common categories are:
- Personal care (bathing, dressing etc)
- Continence care
- Meal preparation
- Daily household tasks
- Shopping visits
Think about how much help is needed
Different home care companies provide different levels of support. For example, we at Right at Home Solent can provide anything from 1 hour a week to 24 hour around the clock care. You need to think about the realistic amount of help that you will need per day/week. Consider the below points to help kick start your thinking:
- What’s a realistic timeframe to complete all of the key areas of assistance (and to do it well!)
- Where can family and friends help; or
- Do you even want family and friends to help (I’ve talked on many occasions about friends and family being friends and family rather than wearing the hat of a CareGiver)
- Is there any other times or days when additional support will be required (e.g is a shopping visit required twice a week, is help needed to go to a club etc)
Have a realistic idea of your budget
Home care can become quite expensive, and a bit of a shock if not planned for in advance. However, all of the following may be relevant to you (or your loved one) thus impacting budgetary considerations too:
- Is Social Services funding available (generally if the individual needing care has less than £23,250 in savings – and is assessed as “eligible” by the local council – some funding may be available). Read here for more details
- Are you eligible for attendance allowance
- Are you eligible for carers allowance
- Can the NHS help (generally only the case if you have a complex medical condition)
Start drawing up a shortlist of potential companies
In whatever you are doing its always a good idea to do your research. Whenever someone calls through to us in the office, I fully expect them to call around a few companies – in fact I always recommend it. Sometimes you will just get a feel for which company is right. Draw up a shortlist of companies to call – and meet with as many as you want, choosing the right home care company is a very difficult and important decision. In the age of the internet, you can also do some digging in the background, I would consider the following resources:
- CQC – the Care Quality Commission are the regulatory body for home care companies – have a look to ensure that the company you are looking at are registered with them – its easy to do, just check their website – link CQC.
- Review websites; theres no better gauge of a company than what existing clients are saying about them, the industry leader for home care is homecare.co.uk – always cross check the company you are considering on here.
- Call the companies you are considering and see what sort of feel you get from them, and then meet with them!
Deciding on a home care company to look after your loved one is a very difficult and important decision to make, so ensure you do as much research as possible – and always follow your gut! We will not be the right fit for some people, but I’m completely comfortable with that – as I want people to be absolutely happy with the choice that they make!
Hope that you found this useful, if you are considering home care in the Solent region (Southampton, Hedge End, Woolston, Bitterne, Whiteley, Fareham, Park Gate, Gosport and all surrounding areas) then please get in touch – call us on 01329 233755 or email me on [email protected]