Choosing the right care agency

There are over twenty States of Jersey Regulated Home Care providers…aside from anyone else…and choosing one out of twenty something may seem like a bewildering decision.

“It can be hard to be completely certain what you’re looking for if it’s the first time you’ve used home care” said Nicola Heath, Care Manager at Complete Individual Home Care. “The first thing we do is look to meet with the person needing care, and any family members helping out, to discuss what they do and don’t want and answer any queries – or concerns.” continued Nicola.

Once the initial length and frequency of visits has been decided a key question to the agency is availability. Can they offer care at those times and in that location? All staff at an Regulated Home Care Provider will be Police checked. All will have undergone mandatory training. All Regulated agencies have to provide Individual Care Plans. Staff may or may or may not be more qualified – including in specialist areas such as dementia. This may be something else you choose to ask about.

“It’s also good to ask about the initial assessment and review and feedback processes the company operates – and obviously about rates and terms and conditions” continued Nicole. “Most agencies charge around the same rate – but some charge more at weekends. Some will regularly send the same Carers to a client, with others there can be more frequent staff changes.” How does the agency monitor that Carers arrive and depart on time? What is the minimum length of visit? These are all good questions to ask. “Our Carers will always look for something to do in any spare time they may have – some agencies are more specific about housework versus providing care”, added Nicole.

If “care reluctance” is an issue ask how this has been overcome with other clients. “Have clients left the agency in recent months and why? Can the agency provide referees?” As Nicole summarised “You are buying a service to help you in your own home in what can be quite an intimate way. At CI Home Care we really encourage prospective clients to ask and say everything that’s on their mind – it all helps ensure the best outcome all round.