Are All Live-in Care Providers the Same?
Obtaining live-in care for your loved one enables them to continue to enjoy living their life independently and pursuing their favourite activities whilst remaining in the familiar, comfortable and secure surroundings of their own home.
With a professional and trained carer on hand to provide companionship and assistance whenever it is needed, be it with personal care, everyday domestic tasks, interests and social activities or health care, live-in home care provides peace of mind for you and for your loved one.
There are many private care companies, both regional and national, to choose from for anyone seeking to obtain live-in home care for a partner or relative. This begs the question ‘are all live-in care providers the same’?
In short, the answer is no.
The two main types of private live in care providers
Private live-in home care providers can be divided into two categories: ‘introduction agencies’ and ‘employment businesses’.
Introduction agencies do not employ their own carers. Instead, they hold the details of a number of freelance self-employed carers who can be called upon as and when needed. In many cases a client must pay a fee to the agency which introduces the live-in carer as well as paying the carer themselves.
When considering using an introduction agency to obtain a live-in carer it is extremely important to find out how the agency screens its carers, how they will be managed (if at all), what training they have received and the process by which the agency matches carers to those who require care. In some cases, care introduction agencies may offer only basic training, or no training at all to the carers they introduce.
Many introduction agencies are not required to register with the industry regulator, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) which means that they are unregulated.
Employment businesses, such as award-winning The Good Care Group, do not rely on a pool of external carers but instead exclusively employ and fully manage their own carers.
For many people seeking live-in home care, using an employment business is the preferable option since payment options are simplified and both client and carer are fully supported by a management team. Having access to its own resource of qualified and trained professional carers means that an employment business is likely to be better able to quickly provide continuity of care in the event of your carer being unexpectedly taken ill, for example.
Unlike introduction agencies, employment businesses are more likely to invest in the training and development of the carers they employ, ensuring that they are appropriately skilled to deal with a wide range of care requirements.
All employment businesses have to be registered with the CQC. You can access their latest inspection report by searching for them on the CQC website, www.cqc.org.uk
Other important differentiators between live-in care providers
Naturally you want to choose the best and most suitable live-in care for yourself or your loved one. The quality, range and standards of care offered by live-in care providers – whether they are introduction agencies or employment businesses – can vary significantly from one to the next.
To help you further narrow your selection of live-in care providers to those which are most likely to offer reliable, high quality services there are other key differentiators which you should look for:
For your reassurance and protection it is sensible to choose a home care provider that is regulated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and is a member of the United Kingdom Home Care Association (UKHCA). Affiliation and recognition by large and reputable charities such as Age UK is also a positive differentiator.
Also, does the home care provider have an independent Advisory Board made up of leading health and social care professionals who can advise on delivering best practice, quality home care?
- Reviews, testimonials and recommendations
The opinions of those who have experienced the services of a particular live-in care provider are perhaps the most valuable and reliable indicator as to its quality.
- Industry awards
The very best live-in care providers are likely to be those which have won recognition not only from their clients but also from respected health and social care industry bodies.
- The carer selection and training process
You or your loved one should have the peace of mind that your carer has been screened for your protection and security and is fully trained and qualified to high standards in order to completely fulfil your care requirements. You may wish to choose a live-in home care provider which actively invests in the ongoing training and development of its professional carers.
The Good Care Group employs and trains its own carers to deliver the highest standards of live-in care tailored to the needs of the individual. We have won more industry awards and nominations for the quality of our live-in care than any other UK care provider.
Our recruitment and screening processes are rigorous to ensure that we only employ the most professional and dedicated carers and we are committed to their ongoing support and development.
We work with some of the UK’s leading charities including Dementia UK, Alzheimer’s UK, Parkinson’s UK, the Contented Dementia Trust, the MS Society and the Stroke Association. Our vision is to be the leading provider of live-in care in the home that enables people to remain in their own home and community, living independently and enjoying quality of life for as long as possible. You can find out more about our one-to-one home care services here. Alternatively, to speak to someone about your home care requirements please call 0203 728 7577.