For many people, home care is the perfect step between getting the help they need and keeping their independence. It means being able to stay in your own home without losing the crucial support required. From live-in care to respite care, end-of-life care to personal care, domestic care to night care, there really is something for every need. But how do you get the most out of the option you choose?
Take Your Time
When you're letting someone new into your life and home, especially when they're going to be playing a key role in your care, it's only natural to feel apprehensive. You'll no doubt have lots of questions - who are they? What are their qualifications and experience? Will I like them? Will they treat me how I expect, and what happens if they don't?
It doesn't need to be a worrying time - take the time to research your options, speak to different providers and find out the answers to your concerns. As with any decision in life, whether it's buying a new car, house or holiday, you can always trust your gut instinct about what feels right and what doesn't.
Do Your Research
Ask questions about how caregivers are employed, as well as what checks and training they have to go through. Find out about what happens if the carer is sick or on holiday and find out what the hourly rates are. Get everything written down in black and white so you always have something to reference if needed.
You can also look online for reviews, check out Facebook and Twitter to get a sense of what has been said and see if the provider has been in the news for the right (or wrong) reasons. Once you feel confident in your decision, you'll be able to go ahead much more confidently. Don't stress about taking your time - it's important to get it right.
What Help Do You Need?
In order to get the most out of healthcare services, it's important for you to think about what help it is that you need and whether you can afford this. Firstly, what is the overall care you need? For example, is it domestic care or rehabilitation care? Dementia and Alzheimer's care or pet care?
Next, think about the individual tasks that you will require help with. Create a document with everything written down. Think about what parts of your day or night you struggle with and what may be dangerous to your health or well-being. For example, do certain tasks involve trip hazards or heavy lifting that you can't do? These should be at the top of your priority list. In the case of animals, perhaps you need them to be walked when you have long hospital appointments and won't be home for a while. It's also important to ensure your basic needs are being met, including eating, washing, visiting the toilet and taking medication.
What Is Your Budget?
It's important to know what your budget is as this will dictate how much you can afford when it comes to your home care. Set yourself an affordable limit that you know you need to work within. The key is to then get the most impact out of your budget and to optimise how much help you can fit into this time. Think about how long you will need the help for as well so your budget can last you over the long-term.
What time of day/week do you most need help?
When you're working with a private home care services provider such as The Great Care Company, you are able to make choices over the time and days that you'd like the domestic care to take place on. Looking at your list, work out how often each task realistically needs doing and whether you could make anything last longer than it currently does in order to save on your budget. Are there any tasks you can get family or friends to help with in the meantime?
Then, with everything else, it's important to work out how often you'd like your caregiver to visit and at what time of day is best (i.e. perhaps to tie in with medication you need to take or early morning so you can be washed for the day ahead). Setting specific days will help you feel confident in the sense of continuity and will give you peace of mind that everything you need doing will get done without hassle or stress to yourself.