5 steps to take before choosing a care company for your elderly relative
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Choosing someone to take care of your dependent loved one is difficult at the best of times, let alone during a pandemic. Amanda Thomson, Registered Care Manager at My Care at Home, shares the five things you can do to help you make your decision.
1. Do your research
Start by looking into local private care companies. If someone you trust provides their recommendation, this can be promising, but it’s important to check a care company’s CQC rating and their reviews online.
Most legitimate care companies have a presence on social media.
“You can tell a lot from a social profile. Consider whether the company in question appears knowledgeable and compassionate in their posts,” Amanda suggests.
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2. Ask the important questions
Once you’ve done your research, and shortlisted a few care companies, prepare a list of questions to ask them. These should be curated by both you and your loved one. Here are a few of Amanda’s examples:
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- How do you personalise your care to the individual?
- Do you monitor both physical and mental wellbeing?
- How do you ensure the quality of your staff and the care they provide?
- How often is the care package reviewed?
- Do you offer consistency of carer?
- How do you make sure that my loved one isn’t left without care?
3. Don’t leave things too late
As much as you mustn’t be too hasty with your decision, if you leave it too late, your loved one could end up in residential care or the hospital.
“Residential care is ideal for some people, but if your relative is keen to maintain their independence and feels comfortable in their own home, it’s best to ensure they are placed in the care of the right company to offer this before it’s too late,” Amanda says.
“If your loved one is deteriorating quickly and you leave it too long to appoint someone to care for them, they may end up in hospital. Getting a head start and securing the necessary care early on could prevent this from happening.”
4. Consider the effect of coronavirus
“It’s worth exploring how different care agencies have responded to the COVID-19 pandemic and whether they’ve adequately supported both service users and staff,” says Amanda.
“How a company adapts to working in the face of adversity proves their passion for care and how much they value their staff and clients.”
Learning what safety measures a care company has put in place will give you some insight into how seriously they take their responsibility and how well looked after your relative would be in their care.
“We have adopted strict infection control and hygiene measures, and keep in regular contact with customers and staff, and therefore have remained free of coronavirus cases so far,” Amanda says.
5. What does your loved one want?
It is paramount that you consider the needs and wants of your loved one before you make a decision on their behalf. They might not have the capacity to decide themselves, but they’re the ones who will be receiving the care so have a right to have their input.
“Sit down with your elderly relative and take the time to understand their needs so you can choose a company that will meet their requirements,” Amanda suggests.
My Care at Home looks after people in their home in Stowmarket and surrounding villages and is always on the lookout for new carers to join its ever-growing team.
The company takes a holistic approach to caring for its clients and works in partnership with local medical professionals to ensure your loved one is as safe and independent as possible within their own home. My Care at Home is regulated by CQC and was rated ‘Good’ in its last inspection.