Which? magazine’s website has a section on live-in care. We have adapted their list of questions you should ask an hourly home care agency. Here is a list of questions to ask a live-in care agency.

Ensure you get all the answers that you need!

About the carers

  • Do you interview your recruits and take up at least two written references before offering them work as a carer?
  • Do all your carers undergo a criminal records check?
  • Will my relative have a regular carer?
  • What will happen if my relative’s regular carer is off sick?
  • How many different carers are likely to visit my relative?
  • What sort of training do the carers receive? Do they have an induction period? How often is their training updated?
  • Will carers keep written records of the care that has been given? Can copies of the records be sent to me if I want them?

 

About your relative’s needs

  • How will you match the most suitable carer to my relative’s needs?
  • What happens if a carer and my relative are incompatible? Could a different carer be requested?
  • What happens in the event of a medical emergency? Will they notify me of any problems?

 

About the agency

  • Do you have a standard contract for work with private clients? Can we see a copy?
  • What are your charges? Are there any minimum charges?
  • What happens on bank holidays? Is there an additional charge at these times?
  • How is payment required – by cheque, direct debit or some other way? How often is payment required? Monthly or weekly?
  • Are there are any extra charges? (The prices quoted usually include National Insurance contributions, travel and any VAT payable)
  • What insurance do you have to protect my relative, for example, in the case of damage to property, the carer making a mistake, or the carer having an accident in my relative’s home?
  • How do you ensure quality of care is maintained? What are your quality assurance policies and procedures?
  • Who should we contact if we have problems with a carer or the service provided?
  • Is it possible to try you for a short trial period initially, to see how it works out?

 

Agency procedures

Does the agency have procedures in place to:

  • protect my relative from accidents, neglect or self-harm?
  • cover the way carers handle my relative’s money if the carer shops or pays bills?
  • instruct carers not to borrow or lend money, not to accept gifts and not to take children or pets into my relative’s house without permission?

What are our answers?

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