Independent home care providers

In order to enable people to live in their own home for as long as possible, a range of home care services are available. Help is on off er from day-to-day tasks such as cleaning, shopping and food preparation/cooking, through to personal care that helps with tasks like dressing, bathing, toileting and prompting the taking of medication. Carers need to be properly trained, particularly in moving and handling and the use of hoists for some tasks. Before you make any decisions regarding the provision of care, be sure to contact several providers and ask for a ‘Service User’s Guide’ and their charges and a draft contract between you and the care provider.

Daily care/domestic support
Carers can call in on a daily basis to assist with any of the tasks described above. Depending on the level of help required their visits can be just half an hour or up to several hours. Generally, visits are available from 7am until 10pm. Some people will need multiple visits per day. Night services can also be provided. The hourly rate for these types of services depend on the services required, the time of day and the location. Rural areas may present particular difficulties and a travel charge will probably be made in addition to the normal hourly rate.

Live-in care
24 hour live-in care can accommodate people with a very high dependency on a permanent basis. It can also provide respite breaks for regular unpaid carers and short-term support following hospital discharge.

In some cases it’s preferable and more economic to have a carer actually living in the home. This can be for a short period e.g. a week, or on an ongoing basis. Typical charges for this service depend on the amount of care and the particular skills required. Live-in care is also available to people with permanent physical or mental disabilities who require long-term ongoing care.

All home care providers are regulated and inspected by the Care Quality Commission who publish inspection reports on its website www.cqc.org.uk. When considering a service it’s always a good idea to check their report. See page 46 for further details.