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3. Choosing a Home Care Provider

Help & advice

This article has been created to provide advice on what to look for and the questions you should ask when choosing a home care provider.

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Care At Home

Home care, also known as domiciliary care or in-home care, is providing support and assistance to someone in their own home. Enabling people to remain at home helps them to maintain their personal independence, remain comfortable in familiar surroundings and in contact with their local community. Home care is flexible, with care packages scalable to meet your needs at any one time.

Finding a home care provider

You can find home care agencies in your area from:

  • - comprehensive directory of homecare providers.
  • Local council Social Services departments may be able to provide a list of their approved organisations in your area.
  • Care regulators can also supply lists of providers in your area, along with copies of recent inspection reports:

What to look for when choosing a home care provider

It is advisable to contact at least two or three domiciliary care providers local to you and ask them to send you their brochure and price list. A wide range of services are available and providers are usually happy to design a care plan to your particular requirements. If you think you may be entitled to free or subsidised homecare you can contact your local council’s Social Services department for assistance.

These are some useful questions to keep in mind when selecting a homecare provider:

  • Can the home care provider give me the care that I need and meet my personal preferences?
  • Have the staff cared for someone with similar needs to mine?
  • How will they select the most suitable care worker for my needs?
  • What sort of training do the care workers receive before they start work and during their employment?
  • If my care isn’t provided by a local council, do you have a standard contract that I can read before signing?
  • Can I contact your agency during the day, outside office hours and in an emergency?
  • What happens if my regular care worker is sick or on holiday?
  • What charges, if any, will I be expected to pay?
  • Is there a minimum charge if I only need a small amount of care?
  • Are there any hidden extras in the prices you quote? (Prices normally include National Insurance contributions, travel expenses and any VAT payable.)

Cost of care at home

The cost of home care can vary hugely by location and depending on how many hours of care you need and what time of the day and week you need it. Shopping around is also advisable as different care providers operate different tariffs depending on the level of care you require. It is important to note that the cost of care is not the same in all parts of the UK.