5 questions to ask when choosing homecare

Making the choice to get in a carer for your loved one is understandably a significant life-changing decision.  First and foremost you’ll want to make sure that you find a high, quality and reputable provider that is able to put your loved one’s best interests at heart. 

It’s important to know what qualities to look for from a homecare provider to help you make an informed decision.  Essentially, the homecare company will become an extended part of your family – you want to know that you can put your trust in them.

We’ve put together a list of the top 5 questions to ask when choosing a local homecare provider, enabling your loved one to continue living happily and healthily, and as independently as possible in the comfort of their own home. 

Do they provide person-centred care plans?

When it comes to care, there is no ‘one-size fits all package’. You should always choose a homecare company that provides tailored plans that reflect the requirements of the individual – and continues to monitor their ever-changing needs. 

Bespoke care plans should be tailored around people’s day to day routines, and consider their likes and dislikes.  If someone is an early bird or a night owl, their care visits should reflect these waking/sleeping patterns and regular habits.  Putting in a breakfast call half-way through the morning will simply not work for those that like to be up and about early in the day.    

Even the little things can be important, like how the client takes their cup of tea can make all the difference is gaining trust and respect.And it’s not just about keeping up with every day routines – a personalised care plan should include tangible outcomes where relevant.  

If you’re considering homecare because your loved one is isolated, then finding ways of preventing loneliness and maintaining social connections is essential.  If you family member is experiencing loss of appetite and has been losing weight, then encouragement from the CAREGiver at mealtimes can help to bring back their enjoyment of food.  When you speak to a homecare provider, ask them about their care plans and what they include and make sure that you will have all the input you need.

Will the care provided be consistent?

We understand that receiving homecare is a very personal thing and it can take a while to build up a trusting relationship with a homecare provider.   At Home Instead we pride ourselves on the consistency of our care.  Wherever possible, we try to match our clients to our CAREGivers based on common interests and hobbies, and we have very small teams that visit each client so that they aren’t seeing someone different every week.  

It’s so important that our clients are able to build meaningful relationships with the people that care for them.  This allows them to feel much more comfortable when receiving homecare services, and helps to create consistency in the care that they receive.  This starts from Day 1 at Home Instead.  Before services begin, we always introduce our CAREGivers to the client – this way it won’t feel like a stranger is coming round to help them once the care visits begin.

What is the duration of a typical visit?

Having enough time to be able to deliver quality care is really important.  We’ve all heard stories of care companies that rush in and out of people’s houses, barely even getting enough time to chat with the client before moving onto the next call.

All our visits are a minimum of one hour, often more – it’s our belief that you can’t truly offer a high-quality service in less time.  Company and conversation is high on the priority list for many of our clients - if the visits were any shorter, our CAREGivers wouldn’t have enough time to complete their tasks, and certainly wouldn’t have time to talk and really get to know their clients. 

The time spent on individual visits is a good indication of how valued a client is.  It’s also worth checking that the homecare provider uses a time-monitoring system (even better if it’s one that you have access to yourself) as this will give you peace of mind that your loved one is receiving the care that has been agreed to.

Does the homecare provider value companionship?

Whilst it’s important to support all the needs of our clients, we know that loneliness is one of the biggest problems that face society today, especially in the elderly.

Our CAREGivers are able to provide a multitude of support services from personal care to domestic help, but we place a really high value of the companionship element of our visits.  This is one of the main reasons, as mentioned above, that we won’t provide any visits that are less than an hour.  We know that the key to the wellbeing of our clients isn’t just about meeting their physical needs but also providing emotional fulfilment.  Our CAREGivers are sociable, friendly and compassionate and will always have a time for a cuppa and a chat with our clients.

Are they recommended by others?

We all look to the internet these days when it comes to finding most services, but you don’t always know which sources you can trust.   

Home Instead is the UK’s most recommended homecare provider according to homecare.co.uk, which is the leading review website for homecare in the UK.   You can also find independent reviews for local providers, that have been left by happy (or unhappy) customers, in the same way that you’d use TripAdvisor to recommend a hotel or a restaurant. 

At Home Instead Wrexham & Flintshire, we have consistently won awards for our homecare services, following feedback from clients and their families and have been placed in the Top 20 homecare providers in the whole of Wales.

Choosing homecare for someone you love can be a challenging process, but by asking the questions above, this can help you to feel confident that you’ve made the right decision.

If you are considering Home Instead to provide care at home for a family member, then please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions you may have.  We are here to offer reassurance and to give you peace of mind that your loved one will be treated with the dignity and respect that they deserve.

Call us today on 01978 660423 (Wrexham) or 01244 735201 (Flintshire) to find out more about our quality homecare services.