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Choosing the right care at home

PUBLISHED: 12:01 24 November 2017 | UPDATED: 16:38 27 November 2017

Remember, it’s your care and you have the right to be involved in every aspect (c) DGLimages / Thinkstock

Remember, it's your care and you have the right to be involved in every aspect (c) DGLimages / Thinkstock

DGLimages

Whether you're choosing a home care company for a family member or starting to plan for your own future, there are several important things that you should consider

Your chosen home care provider is there to look after you

They should help you to make your own decisions and support you in maintaining your own independence. That also means treating you with respect, valuing you as a person and respecting your privacy. If you need assistance with tasks such as dressing, bathing and toileting, you have the right to choose your carer, whenever possible. Remember, it’s your care and you have the right to be involved in every aspect. Don’t ever be afraid to ask for a family member or friend to be kept informed about your home care too.

Home care company standards

All companies have a ‘Statement of Purpose’ that sets out their aims and objectives and the type of the services they offer. If you’re employing a company, they should give you a contract explaining all terms and conditions. This will include things such as their confidentiality policy – for example, how they will hold and use personal data. All home care company employees should also have clear written guidelines and follow robust procedures on how to administer and assist with any medication needs.

Before your home care starts

It’s important to always make sure that the home care company you choose visits you at home before care starts. This will give you the chance to discuss your requirements in detail to ensure that you’re happy with your choice of provider. A good home care company will answer any questions you may have during this visit. The visit will also give the company the opportunity to see the environment in which they will be working. If possible, arrange for a family member or friend to be there when the home care company visits.

Initial home visit by a home care company

During the initial home visit by the home care company, they will carry out a detailed risk assessment of your home, as well as a manual handling assessment. This is important, as it will identify how the company staff will move you safely around your home if assistance is required.

All staff should be fully trained in using equipment such as a hoist, to help bear your weight safely, if needed.

Keeping you safe and secure in your own home

It’s the job of the home care company staff to make sure that you are safe and secure in your own home when they are working with you. Every home care company must have procedures in place to protect those using home care services, to reduce the risk of accidents, and protect people from any form of abuse including physical, emotional and financial abuse. This will also include an agreement about gaining access to your home. Care workers should have ID cards to show their photograph, their name, the company’s name and contact details. Home care companies must also have a policy in place that sets out how staff should handle money, if you ask them to buy things, or pay a bill for you.

Paying for home care

It’s important to know the cost of home care, and you should always be provided with a clear idea of cost for home care service. In most cases, companies will charge different rates for home care on weekdays, evenings and weekends. There is also often a higher rate on Bank Holidays. Remember to ask if there will be any additional cost that you need to know about.

Automated care worker monitoring

Some home care companies have electronic monitoring so care workers can ‘check in’ using their mobile phone or put pin number into your landline phone.

There is no cost to you when they use this system and it records the exact length of time that your care provider has been with you. This system also helps the home care company to highlight any missed calls by the care worker, reducing the risk of you not getting a call. w

Find out more...

Bluebird Care, Suite 4 Westgate House, The Island, Gloucester, GL1 2RU, tel: 01452 414952; and Nelson Street, Stroud, GL5 2HL, tel: 01453 757937.

Visit the Bluebird Care website here.

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