The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has published a guide for older people who want to arrange help at home from a paid carer. This type of care is also known as domiciliary care or home health care.
Five things to expect from a good home care service
1. Care workers meet your needs
Care workers should have the right skills needed to support you, for example if you have dementia or are deaf or blind. Care workers should also respect your cultural and religious values and make sure that your needs are met.
2. You feel comfortable with your care workers
You should expect to see the same care workers regularly, so they can get to know you and be familiar with your needs, including how you like to communicate and your likes and dislikes.
3. You are aware of changes in advance
If your regular care worker is unable to visit you for any reason, the agency providing your care should tell you in advance that a different care worker is coming.
4. Your care diary is regularly updated
Home care workers and others who help you at home, such as physiotherapists or community nurses, should update your care diary each time they visit.
5. You have a home care plan that meets your needs
You should receive a plan that describes the care the agency will provide that focuses on what is important to you and includes any specific health problems or disabilities you may have. Your care plan should also consider what you feel you can do and what you want to be able to do.
To ensure that the plan meets your needs, you should review it within the first six weeks of your first care visit. After that, you should check your care plan at least once a year.
Need more help to decide the care support that is right for you?
The NHS website has more information on helping you to decide whether help at home from a paid carer is right for you, as well as the different types of care that are available, advice about funding your care, and your rights.