What questions should you ask a live in care agency?
When looking for a live-in care agency for a loved one, it can start to feel overwhelming. So how do you choose from the myriad of companies out there?
Well, the answer is by asking the right questions to find out just how suitable a live in care agency is for your loved one’s specific needs.
You’re looking for a care provider that can understand the medical, physical, emotional and spiritual needs of your loved one and how this translates to their care services.
What questions should I ask a care provider?
We’ve collated a list of questions you can ask all of the care providers you contact so that you can make an informed decision on which live in care agency to move forward with.
What care services do you provide?
These will most likely be listed on their website or in their brochure. Still, it’s an excellent question to ask as it allows the care provider to go into detail, particularly as it pertains to your loved one.
What is your CQC rating?
There are four ‘scores’, or ratings’ care providers are given by an independent body, the Care Quality Commission, based on the overall quality of care provided.
The scores are based on whether a care provider is:
- Safe and,
The four scores are: inadequate, requires improvement, good, and outstanding.
Again, a care provider’s CQC score should be on their website or brochure, but it allows you to ask more questions about why they were given that particular score, ascertain when they were last assessed and more.
How do you recruit your live in carers?
You’ll want to know that the carer your loved one is matched with is the best of the best, and asking about the care providers recruitment processes is a way to do this.
For example, you could also ask if there are minimum requirements to be employed at the live in care agency, whether any additional training is provided, how often and more. This will give an idea of the standard the agency works to and whether they continue to invest in their staff to provide the best service possible.
How do you choose which live in carer to match with my loved one?
This is an extremely important question. Inviting someone to move into your home and be with you 24-hour a day every day is a big undertaking. So knowing how this decision is made can put you and your loved one’s mind at ease.
For example, are they matched solely on medical training, or are personality and common interests also considered? Will your loved one be asked what they will and won’t be comfortable with before a decision is reached?
How quickly can you place a carer?
The answer to this will likely depend on staff availability in your area. In some instances, a carer who works elsewhere in the country but is a fantastic fit may be asked to relocate, which would impact the timeframe to place a live in carer.
Knowing this ahead of time can help with your decision-making, particularly if you need to implement live in care as soon as possible.
How do you create a care plan?
Finding out what’s involved in a care assessment and care plan can hugely impact your decision. For example, is your loved one and their close family or friends involved? What about your loved one’s doctor or other health professionals?
What questions are asked as part of the care plan, and how in-depth do they go? After the initial care plan is put together, when is a follow-up planned? Are follow-ups scheduled with the health of your loved one in mind, or does everybody have to wait the same length of time?
What experience does the chosen live in carer have?
Based on the care assessment, the live in care provider should have an idea of who they could place with your loved one and should be able to discuss their experience and training. If a few people would be a good match, can you or your loved one be involved in the ultimate decision?
How long will the live in carer stay with my loved one?
Longevity is essential. Having somebody come and live with you is a tremendous step. So is getting used to having someone around all the time. And if you’re living with a condition such as Alzheimer’s, change can be highly disruptive. So you need to know that the carer assigned to your loved one will be with them for as long as possible.
Of course, no one can entirely predict the future, but asking how long they were with their last client (and any clients before) can be a good indicator.
What happens if the live in care provider is sick or takes annual leave?
While carers and clients can quickly become fast friends, it’s important to remember that this is their job, and no one should be expected to work when sick or due time off.
Knowing how the live in care agency will handle this is an important question to ask. For example, will another carer be matched on a short-term basis? How is this handled for patients who have Alzheimer’s? Does the short-term carer go through the same matching criteria?
What will you do if my loved one doesn’t get on well with your live in carer?
There’s never a guarantee that a carer and client will get on, even with exhaustive matching. Most importantly, your loved one should feel safe and comfortable in their home, so what’s the process if they don’t click with the carer? Who should this be raised with, and how long will it (roughly) take to place a new carer?
How do you carry out quality monitoring?
Every live in care provider will likely have their own processes in place, so this is an excellent question to ask. Everything regarding live in care should be monitored and remain flexible so that your loved one gets the right level of care at the right time, always.
What provision do I need to provide for a live in carer?
At a minimum, a live in carer will need a room of their own, somewhere they can take their breaks, get some sleep and have some downtime. A live in care provider should be able to give a list of what’s expected, helping you choose the right provider for you and what you’re comfortable with.
Asking this question will also show the live in care provider that you understand the role you and your loved one has in this process, getting you off on the right track.
What is not included in the fees?
This is another great question as it will provide complete transparency and help you choose a live in care agency that you’re financially comfortable with. The last thing you want is to choose a provider, have a carer move in and get settled only to then be surprised by a fee you had no idea about.
These are just some examples of questions you may want to ask the live in care agencies you contact. If you’re looking for highly qualified and trained live in carers to look after your loved one, we would be more than happy to arrange a care assessment.