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Finding the Right Care Provider: Where to Begin?

Jun 5, 2024 | Discover Our Blog

When it comes to arranging care, there are so many different services available: nursing homes, assisted living facilities, specialist care homes, home care agencies, self-employed carers, regulated providers, non-regulated providers… the list goes on. While finding the right care provider can be a daunting task, the extensive offer means you are likely to find a solution tailored to your exact needs.

Types of Care Providers

Not only are there many options, but each and every one of these designated “types” of services will differ significantly on an individual basis as well. They might sit in the same name category but offer different services, and the quality of care within each type can also vary significantly.

However, we will outline some aspects typically shared among the services of home care, care homes, and private carers as a foundational reference.

Care Homes (and variants)

Care homes usually offer secure, purpose-built environments with 24/7 support and staff for maintenance and cleaning. They typically provide meals with a focus on nutrition, foster community, organise activities, and often feature dedicated care units. In essence, they streamline daily life, requiring minimal individual planning or coordination.

Finding the right care provider care home

Home Care (and variants)

Home care enables individuals to stay in the comfort and familiarity of their own homes, preserving their routines and independence. This allows them to maintain relationships and keeps family and friends more involved in their care. For those with special needs, like dementia, familiarity with their surroundings is crucial for their well-being. Additionally, home care eliminates concerns about managing their home, pets, or belongings. Studies indicate that person-centred home care positively impacts well-being and happiness, and reduces hospital admissions compared to care home placement.

Finding the right care provider home care

Private carers

Freelance carers normally offer flexible and cost-effective care with minimal commitment compared to care homes or traditional home care providers.

Finding the right care provider private carer

Finding the Right Care Provider for You

The benefits of each type of service are relative to each individual’s needs. For example, care homes can offer a sense of community for people who may be isolated, whereas some people might have a rich sense of community and friendship where they currently live, and moving into a facility with strangers might be more difficult for them. In care homes, people usually need to adhere to a set schedule, which might be a positive for those who would benefit from a more solid sense of routine, whereas it might be disruptive to someone who needs to live on their own terms for their wellness. As another example, one provider might provide carers with a specific training and approach, which others might not.

If these general traits are not enough to decide which service is best for your loved one, we have pointed out some additional tips below.

Useful Tips for Careseekers

Whether for yourself or a loved one, arranging care can be an overwhelming process. A consideration that can help lift some of the pressure is to see it as a journey, one that might likely need reassessing. Circumstances and needs might evolve along the way, so it might be helpful to view this move as a temporary transitional phase to begin with. It’s the starting point to your learning curve; for better or worse, you will learn what you and your loved one will need if your chosen provider is not suitable.

The pressure mainly stems from two reasons: the vast array of options and services on the market, and the associated risks, tied to physical safety and financial commitments. So instead of contrasting different care services, it might be helpful to focus on establishing specific needs your chosen service must meet—a list of requirements. This list should include essential elements like necessary equipment, support for routines, space for personal belongings, cleaning assistance, required training for carers, or language preferences, to name a few examples. Additionally, consider the risks that concern you most, such as worst-case scenarios and potential insurance needs. These elements will guide your investment decisions and serve as a basic guideline during this journey.

If thinking about these so-called elements doesn’t come naturally, try deconstructing their routine. From waking up to going to bed, note the daily activities and what they need for each. Also, consider those worst-case scenarios affecting your peace of mind. For example, if the lights go out at night, could your loved one wake up and fall in the dark? Add this to your list. We have put together a checklist for home care agencies that might be helpful.

To help curate your list, identify whose voices matter in the decision-making process. The research journey can be lengthy, with months of interactions with providers. Consider who can help with phone calls and who can ease the mental burden.

Lastly, it is always advisable to seek guidance from trusted external sources. For instance, organisations like the Care Quality Commission (CQC) offer a basic guide to regulated healthcare standards. Additionally, SweetTree, with over 22 years of collective caregiving experience, serves as a valuable potential resource. We advocate for a gradual, personalised approach to crafting a care regimen tailored to the individual’s specific requirements. In our experience, domiciliary care offers a distinct advantage due to its inherent adaptability; adjustments can be made incrementally, ensuring that the care provided remains responsive to evolving needs. This flexibility allows for a seamless integration of modifications into established routines. Moreover, domiciliary care fosters a more personalised experience, as individuals get undivided attention from the carers, unlike the divided focus usually found in institutional settings such as care homes. This focused attention enables carers to learn about your loved one’s needs in a way that would otherwise go unnoticed, which can be beneficial if you are precisely unsure about getting it right. Furthermore, we strongly advise seeking financial guidance prior to engaging in any transactions. While private care companies offer essential services, they are nonetheless profit-oriented entities. Therefore, it is safer to seek comprehensive advice to steer clear of potential financial pitfalls. As it is such a crucial aspect, we delve into it with greater detail in a separate article.