Choosing care provider can be a stressful task – there are so many care options and companies available that it can be daunting to sort through all of them and find an arrangement that takes the strain off family and friends, ensures your loved one is happy, and works within your available budget.
This post is here to help you find the right care provider and services for everybody involved by providing some guidance and potential questions to ask both your loved one and the provider to make the decision a little easier.
Questions to Ask Your Loved One About Their Care
Your loved one will interact with their Support Assistant on a regular basis, so it is essential that their needs and preferences are placed above all else. In most cases, your loved one should be able to explain clear requirements and let you know what they want from their Support Assistant, including:
- What they want help with – this is often dictated by the reason you are looking for care, but in some instances (especially with elder care) there may just be a few daily challenges that they struggle with.
- How often they would like a Support Assistant to visit – if live-in care is not a requirement, you can arrange regular hours and packages.
- What time they would like a Support Assistant to visit – working care services around an existing schedule is essential to good integration.
- What the budget is – if your loved one is paying for care or has savings available for this, it is important to discuss budget upfront to avoid complications in future.
Questions to Ask the Care Provider
Meeting with care providers offers the opportunity to ask questions and ensure that they can keep the requirements mapped out by your loved one. You may want to consider asking the following questions to help you differentiate between the different providers and choose a shortlist.
- What is the background and structure of the company? Many clients prefer a family-owned company, or one where the leadership team have experience of care themselves.
- How long has the company been operating? While this does not define the quality of care, it does show stability and success of the company.
- What qualifications and experience are staff required to have? Leaving your loved one in a stranger’s care requires a great deal of trust, so it is important to know that care staff are properly vetted before being recruited.
- How are staff supervised?
- Will the same care givers visit each time? Many people prefer the stability of a familiar face and to develop a relationship with their Support Assistant, rather than meeting a new person every time.
- Does the company conduct home visits before starting home care services?
- Can the company work with doctors to develop a care plan? When care goes beyond support with daily living activities, this is essential to ensure that medical needs are being met and monitored.
- Can the company provide references?
- Is the agency regulated by the Care Quality Commission? This regulator works in England to monitor and inspect services regularly to ensure standards are met and maintained.
- Ask to see a copy of the company’s contract and check that it properly details roles and responsibilities, and you are happy with the terms.
Once you have gone through these questions and gained a better understanding of the company and how they operate, you should be able to make a more informed decision about whether they are the right company for you. However, much of his decision has to do with intuition as it does with filling in checklists – for many, their chosen care provider simply ‘feels’ right and they know that they will work well with their loved one.