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How to find & fund home care services

 

As the founder and Managing Director of PerCurra I'm passionate about providing excellent care at home services. Here are some suggestions on how to access support services, what to look for and the ways it can be funded.

Gill Heppell

   
 

Worried about relatives?

 

When you visit relatives and friends  do you worry that they might not be coping life as well as they used to? Are you thinking they might need some extra help?

If you can’t shake off that feeling then it’s a good idea to have a conversation with them and be aware of any tell tale signs that they may need some extra support.

 You could ask them a few key questions to put your mind at ease such as are they able to get to the shops or do they have arrangements for getting food or meals delivered, are they warm enough, are they struggling with day to day tasks, are they missing out on a social life because they can’t get out and about safely?

There may be some things you can help with but it can be a worry if you can’t or if you don’t live nearby. Maybe an hour or so of professional support will make all the difference to their happiness and safety. It will also give you peace of mind.

 

How to get support?

 

Often people only think about getting in professional carers when someone needs a high level of support. They also worry about the expense. This leads to vulnerable people, unhappily struggling to cope with daily life until they reach a crisis point either through ill health or an accident in the home.

If you, or a loved one needs some support you can get the ball rolling.

NHS Choices offer advice on their website. View it here: Assessing Your Care & Support Needs

Age Concern UK have a really helpful Factsheet - just click on this link Factsheet 41

 

What types of 'care' are there?

 
Care Support Services range from a care professional (carer) popping round to chat and keep you company for an  hour or take you out shopping (companionship services) right through to round the clock support (eg Personal Care Services and Live-in Support).
 
It's amazing how much difference even a small amount of support can make to someone's quality of life. Perhaps this could be covered by an Attendance Allowance - a non means tested allowance that could pay for some essential care or support. Once t his has been awarded it may pave the way for further services. Here are some useful links:
 

 

How to search for providers

 
If your relative or friend does need home care services how do you find the right provider. If you don’t already have recommendations then this national directory of suppliers is a good place to start https://www.homecare.co.uk/ .

It’s useful to know that unless the support given is ‘personal care’ the care company does not need to be registered with the Care Quality Commission. So if you are looking for companionship services and you have been recommended to a company that isn’t CQC registered, it isn’t a problem.

If you are worried about elderly loved ones then the Age Concern website is a great source of advice https://www.ageuk.org.uk/

 

What you should expect from a home care agency

Inviting an outside agency into your home is a huge decision but, when you find a great care provider, your quality of life is greatly improved. You will feel safer and happier and actually more independent.

So what should you expect from a home care agency? You should feel confident that their staff are well trained to deliver an excellent standard of care and that they can visit you at times that fit in with your lifestyle. A manager should arrange to meet you in your home and discuss your needs and your wishes. They should ask you a lot of questions to really understand what you require and expect from your care package and you should feel they are carefully listening to what you say.

Establishing trust with the company and a good relationship with your carers is important to your well-being. You should feel that they are helping you to live your life, your way. Click on this link to read advice from  the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

CQC Advice on home care agencies

 

Questions to ask a home care provider

So you have sought out recommendations for home care providers in your area or you have found some companies via a search on the internet. What next?

Phone them up – does the phone get answered in a friendly, professional way? This is your first indication of what their quality of service may be like. If you are happy so far, and they say they can deliver the type of service you need, then you may want to arrange for someone to visit you at home.

To get the most out of this meeting it is best to be prepared with a list of questions as well as a pen and notepad. The respected consumer magazine/website ‘Which’ has compiled a list of questions for people looking for reliable home care. Click this link to see them. Questions to Home Care Providers from Which

Not all of the questions may  be relevant to your situation but pick out the ones that are and jot down any of your own. Take your time and don’t feel pressured to sign up to a company there and then if you are not happy. This is a big decision.

 

 

 

 
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