Most of us will require care at some point in our lives. Choosing the right home care can help you to remain independent for longer and enjoy a better quality of life. However, crucial to this, is choosing the right home care provision – but how do you go about it? We’ve put together some factors to consider when organising care for yourself or someone you love.

What are your needs?

First and foremost, consider your needs. What do you need help with? Are everyday tasks such as housework, shopping, food preparation, personal care and hygiene becoming difficult? Or, do you need more specialist and skilled care, such as medical support? Do you require help every day or respite care every now and again? Or, do you need temporary support, to help you recuperate after a stay in hospital?

Home care can be flexible and can fulfil a wide range of requirements, from permanent cover to temporary or emergency care. In choosing the right home care, the most important to thing is first to establish your priorities regarding the care provision.  What do you need to retain your independence and feel confident living in your home?

Have a care assessment

Having a care assessment can help in establishing your care requirements. If you contact your local social services, they are obliged to assess your care needs. If they establish that you do require care, they’ll let you know what help they can provide. Also, the social care team will also undertake a financial assessment or ‘means test’ to see if there is any financial help available for you.

Know your budget and costs

However, if you are recognised as having ‘eligible needs’, you could also look into choosing your care provision through a ‘personal budget’, meaning you could receive more personalised care; and have greater choice and autonomy over that care.  A personal budget could give you the flexibility to choose which agency provides your care.

The Age UK website has lots of advice and information regarding personal budgets and how they work, so log to their site to find out more or call their advice line on 0800 678 1174.

If you are not eligible for help with care costs from your local council, they may still be able to assist you in setting up an independent care budget, and there are tools online you can use to estimate your care costs. However, if you are working it out on paper, then work on the assumption that care costs are around £15 an hour. You may also find that there are local charities in your area who could advise you.

Evaluate care providers

Have a look at what care providers are in your area; you might want to discuss this with friends and family, a local charity or by doing your own search. Look out for care providers assessed by the Care Quality Commission and that have signed up to the Social Care Commitment so that you can be assured of their standards. Speak to a few home care providers and ask them pertinent questions about their care provision. Ask what services they provide, how flexible they can be and what training their staff receive? Also be sure you are aware of the charges you’ll incur, the payments options, and whether there is a minimum number of hours you have to commit to or a contract to sign.  Ideally, you’ll want to speak to your prospective caregiver too. You are bound to think of more questions to ask, but these are just a few to help you get started.

So there you have a few things to consider when putting home care in place, we hope you’ll soon find the right care for your needs.  Contact Employ Social Care for more information about social care recruitment, with over 20 years in the business; they are the recruiters on whom you can count.




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