Researching different home care providers takes time, but you may have time on your hands if you’re waiting for your funding allocation to come through. Compile a list of questions you can ask each provider, in order to compare and make the best choice for you. If possible, ask a family member or friend to help – it’ll cut down on your workload and give you a second opinion.
Here are some questions to add to your list:
What is included in the service?
This can differ from provider to provider, so get a clear idea of what each can offer to you. If there are specific services you need, for instance a carer who can speak your native language, ask about these.
What isn’t included?
This is equally important to find out from the get-go. If you want your carer to be able to dust around the house or clean out the gutters, find out if this is possible, and is it may not be in the carer’s role to do these things. Knowing this from the start will avoid misunderstandings over what the carer can and cannot do.
How much does the service cost?
This question should be one of the first things you ask. It’s important to know what the service fees are, and if there are any extra charges and if so, what circumstances are they for. Ideally ask for an itemised list of the services (for example, bathing, meal preparation, etc.) so you can better compare providers.
Are there any exit fees and a minimum notice period for cancellation?
Should the service no longer be needed or you want to switch, will you be charged and how much?
Do you have to give a set amount of notice and how is this done? Find this out before signing up to a service so that this won’t come as a surprise should the situation arise.
How are carers recruited?
You can ask the provider how they recruit and train their carers. What qualifications do they need?
What expectations do they have about their carers? How will they match a carer to you? Also find out how involved the provider will be in the carer/client relationship.
What happens if the carer is unavailable?
What process does the provider have in place in case a carer becomes unavailable? Having a contingency plan and back-up carers is vital so you’re not left stranded.
What happens if there is an issue?
Does the provider have a formal complaints process, and if so, what is it? Again, this is worth knowing from the start rather than being unsure later down the track.