Helen Drain, Dementia Trainer & Deputy Training Team Leader at Christies Care reveals what to consider when choosing home care for a loved one with dementia.

Choosing a home care agency can transform your loved one’s quality of life, so it’s important to get it right. You need to ensure you and your loved one are happy with the care arrangements; that they feel comfortable with their new carer (or care team); and that it suits their circumstances and needs. Here are five things to take into account when searching for right home care agency…

Do your research
It’s a good idea to interview at least two or three home care agencies, so you can make comparisons and choose the one you feel will be the best fit for your loved one. You should also read each home care agency’s Care Quality Commission (CQC) report, which rates whether the quality of service is safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led.

Think about your loved one’s needs
Make a list of your loved one’s requirements and needs. For example, do they just need help with housework and shopping at this stage, or will they require assistance with personal hygiene. Also, think about how their needs are likely to change over time, and find out whether the home care agency will be able to increase their level of care in future.

Ask questions
In order to feel reassured that a home care agency is the right one, it’s important to find out as much as you can, so don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions! How do they recruit their care workers? Will your loved one be assigned a regular care worker? What happens if they don’t seem compatible? What happens if the care worker is off sick or gets delayed? What happens in the event of a medical emergency? The home care agency should be confident in answering all of your queries.

Does the carer have the appropriate training?
It’s vital to find out whether the potential carer has the necessary dementia training and experience to match your loved one’s needs, and also how often this training is updated.

Make a financial plan
When considering home care, it’s important to take financial considerations into account. How are you planning to pay for the care? Your loved one might be entitled to some financial help, so get in touch with their local authority and ask for a Needs Assessment.