You will need to look for experience, qualifications, eligibility to work in the UK, references and, above all, how they interact with your loved one.
Finding reliable adult care servicesPlacing the person you love in the care of someone else can be frightening. So how can you ensure that the carer you choose can be trusted to help and support your loved one when you’re not there? As they grow older, disease, decreased mobility or dementia can make it more difficult for your loved one to manage at home without a helping hand. Coping with the demands of household chores, getting out to the shops, cooking, even bathing and caring for themselves can become increasingly difficult. Often family and friends can provide assistance; but balancing work, home and care commitments can put a real strain on the health and wellbeing of family caregivers. When outside help is needed, how do you find reliable care services?
What should I look for in a carer?Finding the right carer is, in essence, a matter of identifying the person who you feel you can trust to keep your loved one safe and well. Often your gut instinct will help you choose the person that best fits your needs, but it’s essential to check any prospective caregiver’s background thoroughly, and consider a few practical questions.
Are they experienced?Look at their employment background and see what experience they have with care.
If your loved one has dementia, mobility issues or complex needs, consider whether the carer you’re speaking to has worked with individuals with similar needs or has a history in nursing.
Are they qualified?There are no set qualifications that must be gained before becoming a carer, which is why experience is so important. If your loved one has additional or complex health needs, then an NVQ or nursing qualifications will help you to identify those with more medically specific skills.
Can they legally work in the UK?Any carer needs to be entitled to work in this country. It’s important to check their passports as well as any documentation to prove that they’re from the EEC or have a valid visa that allows them to work here.
Do they have good references?Check out the written references and always follow up with a phone call. Referees can reveal more in a chat than they would in writing and you can ensure that no information has been omitted or faked.
Reliability is about doing the job well, turning up on time, being trustworthy and not letting you down at the last minute.
Although it’s impossible to predict what will happen in the future, their past actions should give you a pretty good indication.