First Things First…

An initial assessment must be implemented through your local authority’s social services department to assess your current care requirements. This is recommended if you notice that you start to struggle with daily responsibilities and simply feel as if you would profit from a helping hand.

Once a decision has been made as to whether care services would benefit you, there are several different home care services to consider.

Many local councils provide their own, internally funded care services for local residents. If the organisation states that you are eligible for this course of action, they will take it upon themselves to arrange a schedule while you sit back and relax. Alternatively, if you are eligible for a council-funded care plan, however, would prefer to make your own arrangements with an external care organisation, there is also the option to do this. The council will either organise a direct monthly payment or set a personal budget, in which you can contribute towards your home care services.

In some cases, you, unfortunately, may not be eligible for funding through your local council. If this is the case, it doesn’t mean that you must go without. There are many different private care options including the following:

  • Using a Home Care Agency
  • Hiring a Personal Assistant
  • Getting Home Care From a Charity, Such as Age UK

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Home Care Agencies

Opting for enlisting the help of a home care agency is an excellent option if your carer is able to organise and pay for the private care agency independantly.

Home Care Agencies consist of a fully trained, experienced team of care workers who will visit your home through an agreed schedule. All agencies must comply with a set of national regulations delivered through the Care Quality Commission (CQC). This includes strict Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks on all potential and current care workers to guarantee the safety of all individuals.

Due to the scale of the home care teams, it is not guaranteed that each day you will have the same professional visiting. However, every organisation takes into consideration your requirements and preferences before pairing you with a care worker.

The main benefits of home care agencies are the following:

  • Immediate cover will be arranged in the event of a visit cancellation, for example, if a care worker is unwell or on annual leave.
  • Agencies will aim to resolve all problems promptly, in a professional manner.
  • All home care workers are trained through national qualification bodies and regularly participate in additional training courses to expand their industry knowledge.

Find out more from the UK Homecare Association.

How Much Does Home Care Cost?

Similarly to the majority of other private services, the prices of home care will fluctuate depending on the level and consistency of care you require. Although fees may seem expensive, lower prices are available, and ultimately, high-quality care with a trustworthy individual is priceless.

Questions to Ask When Using a Home Care Agency

Before deciding to go ahead with an agency, you should ask questions about the fee and what it covers. These include:

Does the agency check references?

What training and supervision do they provide?

What's their complaints policy?

Who's responsible for insurance?

Is there any out-of-hours or emergency contact if needed?

Will they be able to provide staff if your own care worker is ill or away?