Nearly 1.2 million people in the UK aged 65 and over are not currently receiving the extra care and support they need with daily living activities. This means it’s highly likely that we all know at least one person who would benefit from receiving health and social support, whether this person is elderly, has a learning difficulty or has a disability.
What’s more, the growing distance between families is also making planning care for family members more difficult as those who are likely to be in a position of finding care for a relative, now live nearly an average of 100 miles, or a two-hour drive, from their loved ones. This means that finding the best quality care that suits a family member’s needs can be challenging.
However, when a person does receive quality care, the benefits for them and their families can be far-reaching, helping them to continue living their life how they want to.
Here are 5 tips on how to find quality care for yourself or a loved one:
1. Do your research
When it comes to choosing care, there are multiple options available and you will feel more confident and happy in your decision if you’ve explored every choice available.
2. Don’t rush your decisions
Take the time to visit a few care homes or meet with different carers and care agencies in order to find out the types of care they can offer and, importantly, to find the care provider that best suits you and your loved one’s needs.
3. Learn how to recognise a good care provider
When meeting with a potential care provider or visiting a care home, look for signs that they focus on person-centred care, have respect for the people they care for and their families and that they provide residents with activities and opportunities to socialise. You can also check official standards such as CQC ratings, Food Hygiene ratings, financial ratings and the general level of staff training.
4. Keep your budget in mind
All care providers and services vary in cost. Whilst it’s natural to think that price doesn’t matter when seeking care for your loved one, as you want the best care possible regardless of cost, keep your budget in mind so as to avoid any complications further down the line. Make sure you check any deposits that are required and any ongoing additional costs, such as hairdressers or social activities.
5. Don’t forget what your loved one wants
If your loved one wants to be as independent as possible or enjoys particular social activities, ensure that the chosen care provider has the resources to enable them to continue doing what is important to them.
With a lot of the focus in the news recently being around the quality of care and the cost of care, it’s easy to forget that there are some great care providers available and that finding them doesn’t need to be expensive, difficult or stressful.
Katie Gartland, spokesperson at Life co, says:
“From those we’ve spoken to and the research we’ve carried out, it’s clear that a lot of people finding care for themselves or a loved one for the first time aren’t sure where to go to, the questions they should ask, what’s available to them or what they should be looking for in care provider. There’s an over reliance on GPs, Community Care and other public sector related services to offer advice and support, and we know these services are already under a lot of pressure, both through budget cuts and staffing.”
“That’s why Life co was created; to give people the knowledge, choice and control over finding and managing their care. Life co offers a new way for people to find care homes, home care services and adult day care services,” Katie says.
“Unlike other care models, Life co doesn’t just list available providers - we have a created a marketplace of accredited, quality care providers, and our site works by asking these providers to supply people with personalised care responses. We also show people related information about providers, such as CQC ratings, official financial ratings and testimonials, so that they can make an informed decision. We genuinely ask every pre-checked care provider in the person’s locality whether they can supply their care,” Katie continues.
When it comes to seeking care, there is no doubt that we all want what is best for our families, friends and loved ones, and because of the negative stories around health and social care that often appear in the media, it is easy to feel apprehensive about the process. But with services like Life co, finding great care doesn’t have to be an arduous experience.