When choosing home care agencies there are several points that need to be considered.
You are advised that the care provider visits you at home before starting the service. This will ensure that you are happy with your choice of provider and give you the chance to discuss your requirements and give them the opportunity to see the environment in which they will be working. If possible, arrange for a member of your family or friend to be in attendance when the provider visits. A good care provider will answer any questions you may have during their visit.Do you want to learn more? Visit Bedford senior care
All agencies produce a ‘Statement of Purpose’ setting out their aims and objectives and the nature of the services they provide.
If you are employing an agency you should be provided with a contract setting out the terms and conditions.
The agency must have a confidentiality policy setting out how they will hold and use your personal data.
You should be kept informed about any issues relating to your care and you may wish to ask that a member of your family or friend is kept informed also.
Staff should treat you with respect and value you as a person and your privacy must be upheld at all times.
There must be clear written guidelines and robust procedures in place on how staff are to administer and assist with medication.
You should be helped to make you own decisions and supported in maintaining your independence.
Safeguards for your protection
Home care providers must have procedures in place which protect you and the way you are treated and cared for.
This will include policies and procedures that reduce the risk and likelihood of any accident to you or their staff.
There will be policies that protect you from any form of abuse, including physical, emotional and financial abuse. A policy must be in place that sets out how staff may handle money if you ask them to buy things or pay bills on your behalf.
Staff are asked not to accept gifts or cash from their clients and the agency will have clear guidelines to ensure that staff do not involve you in lending or borrowing of money or looking after anything valuable on your behalf.
Staff are to ensure that you are safe and secure in your own home when they are working with you. This will include an agreement about access to your home
Staff will have ID cards that show a photograph of the care worker, their name, name of the agency, contact details of the agency.
A written record will be kept by the agency staff of the care that has been provided including any changes in your health and any accidents that have occurred.
As part of the agency visit they will carry out risk assessments of the home as well as a manual handling assessment. This will identify how they are able to help move you safely. Staff will be fully trained on using equipment such as a hoist to help bear your weight safely.
Paying a home care agency
You will be provided with a clear indication of costs for the agency services. Many agencies charge different rates for weekday, evenings and weekends. There is often a higher rate on Bank Holidays. Ask if there are any additional costs that you need to be made aware of. All costs will be written into the contract between you and the agency. You should be invoiced at regular intervals for the previous months service.
The care staff will in most cases have a timesheet that will require your signature. Always check that they have correctly the length of the visit. It may seem easier to sign only once a week but if you do this you may be charged the incorrect amount and it will prove difficult to prove otherwise. Some agencies will have electronic monitoring where the care staff ‘check in’ using their mobile phone or putting a pin number into your landline. There is no cost to you when they use this system and it records the exact time the care staff are with you. The added advantage of this system it will highlight to the agency any missed calls by the care staff, therefore reducing the risk of you not getting a call.