Ensure that you know what to look for when choosing a good home care provider

When the time comes that you need to look for a home care provider for an ageing parent, you want to be sure they are getting the best. Anything short of that and you will feel like you have let them down, and you only want the best for your loved ones. It’s important to know what to look for when choosing a good home care provider. Here’s a check list for you in 5 easy steps.

Check the provider’s regulatory inspection report

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the regulator of care services in England. In Scotland, it is the Care Inspectorate, and in Wales, it is the Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales. Every care service provider is registered and inspected by their respective regulatory body. A report is published following their inspection that you are able to read from the regulatory body’s website. Providers must also have a link to their registration displayed on their own website. It has to be easy for a member of the public to be able to check these reports.

Services are usually rated from, the worst, ‘Inadequate’, to the best, ‘Good’ and ‘Outstanding’. Reports are usually broken down into areas of expected quality, such as the service being well led, caring, effective and responsive.

Look specifically for how the staff feel about how well trained they are and how supported they feel in their role, as they are the ones who will be looking after your loved one.

Look for reviews about them online

Online reviews are a great way to gauge how people feel about a provider. Have a look to see if the provider has reviews on homecare.co.uk, or on TrustPilot, NHS Choices, and on their Facebook pages.

Find the home care provider on social media

Social media is a good place to get beyond the brand and see the people who are running the business and providing the service. Have they got a good community? Are they responding to questions? On Facebook, there may be reviews that you can read too.

Look at the care provider’s memberships

The main membership for home care providers in the UK is The United Kingdom Home Care Association (UKHCA), this is a local and national lobbying group that aims to improve things in the care sector. It is not a mandatory requirement, however, a conscientious and committed provider will be a member.

Meet with the home care provider’s team

Finally, meeting with the team that will be providing your loved one with the care is the best way to get an idea of what they are like. If you are unable to go to their office, or they are too far from you, then you can request a Skype video meeting or a telephone call.

The home care provider should be more than happy to spend time with you answering any questions you have, as well as offering an obligation free home care assessment.