Let’s face it, the goal for most of us is to live independently in our own home for as long as possible! In many cases, getting help with daily tasks or specialist nursing care can make the difference between staying in our own homes or moving into Residential Care. Therefore, choosing the right home care provider is vital!
All Home Care Providers must be accredited and operate under the Charter of Care Recipients’ Rights and Responsibilities for Home Care.
Choosing and comparing providers can be overwhelming. Aside from the complexities of various fees, it is also tricky to know what to look for in a provider. You want to make sure that their fees are reasonable and their care is of a high standard but make sure you don’t underestimate the importance of a provider who takes the time to get to know and understand you.
Key questions to ask a potential provider:
What do you value?
The way organisations present themselves online or in brochures can tell you a lot about the importance they place on their customers’ quality of life and individual differences.
How long have you been in business?
The length of time an organisation has been in business does not necessarily equate to the quality of care. New organisations might realise the importance of focussing on customers, while others may have become complacent. However, longevity does reflect on the stability of the company. Regardless, make sure they are accredited and with no sanctions.
Will you involve me and my loved ones in decisions about my care?
All aged care providers have a legal responsibility to involve you and your loved ones in deciding what care will meet your needs. Your Care needs to be tailored to you – your preferences, needs and goals.
Will you ensure there is a good match between me and my carer?
You may have special needs to consider (cultural, religious, or language). Find out if the provider can match you with someone who understands your needs.
Will I receive care from the same people?
It is difficult to receive good care if different people show up every week, this can be particularly unsettling for people with dementia. A good home care provider will be concerned with continuity of care.
Do you directly employ staff or rely on contract workers?
Directly employing carers may result in greater consistency of training and conditions. Agencies who employ contract workers can provide a wide range of carers. However, ensure all carers are insured by the provider and ask about your personal liability
Do you conduct a home visit before starting the service?
Customer and family members should discuss the kind of care needed with a Care specialist. This will help you determine if a provider can meet your specific needs. Look for an organisation that includes a home visit as part of their aged care services or will rebate part of the fee if you become a customer.
Where can I access reviews or testimonials from your customers?
Review testimonials and see what customers say. A good provider prides itself on positive feedback and will make this freely available.
What qualifications, experience and training do carers have?
Find out if carers’ credentials are investigated and undergo a thorough, professional testing and screening process? Ask the provider if ongoing training is provided review police checks regularly.
If I am unhappy with my carer, will you listen to my complaint and find a solution?
Find out if there is a formal complaints process and determine whether you feel confident that it will be followed up and resolved?
It is certainly a good idea to research and consider several providers before making your final choice. To make this easy, CareAbout has put together a Provider checklist for you to use during your search.