How to choose a Home Care Agency in 5 steps

Providing Care
5 min read
Stephanie. DStephanie S

If you require care at home, finding the right care provider can be a daunting task. However, with the help of our step-by-step guide and with the right questions to ask, you can navigate through the process and select the best care agency for your specific needs.

Step 1: Determine the Type of Home Care You Require

One common method of arranging home care is through a domiciliary care agency. These agencies offer professional care staff and handle all the necessary arrangements. When considering an agency, ensure they can provide customised care tailored to your requirements. Determine whether you need assistance with daily tasks like eating and dressing for a few hours a week or if you require round-the-clock live-in care. Additionally, consider whether the agency can adapt its services if your needs change.

Alternatively, you can hire a private carer or personal assistant if you prefer more control over the arrangements. Remember that this option entails taking on the responsibilities of an employer. Before determining the level of professional care required, assess whether it can be supplemented by support from family members, friends, or other cost-effective forms of assistance, such as hiring a cleaner, gardener, or companion. Additionally, consider if any home adaptations or useful gadgets could enhance your or your loved one's independence, as this may influence the amount of professional home care needed.

If you are unsure, try our Care Estimator tool

Step 2: Compile a List of Desired Care Service Features

Before committing to a care provider, gather detailed information about your requirements. This will enable you to compare different providers and choose the one that suits you best. Consider the following questions:

Step 3: Identify Local Care Agencies That Meet Your Criteria

Step 4: Assess Ratings and Create a Shortlist

All domiciliary care providers must be registered with one of the UK's care regulators, which monitor and inspect services to ensure compliance with quality and safety standards. Inspection reports from these regulators can be downloaded from their websites. Additionally, check if the agency is a member of the Homecare Association, which upholds a code of practice for maintaining high care standards. Based on this information, create a shortlist of agencies that meet your needs.

Step 5: Contact the Agencies on Your Shortlist

Arrange meetings with the staff of the shortlisted agencies, preferably at your home. Don't hesitate to ask questions during these meetings, as they provide an opportunity to gather essential information. Consider having a family member or friend accompany you to help keep track of the discussions. Utilise our checklists to prepare for these meetings with home care agencies.

You can create a shortlist on Pairly and message providers directly.

Some Key Questions to Ask a Home Care Agency

When considering a home care agency, asking relevant questions that align with your specific circumstances is crucial. Here are important inquiries to make. Pick the questions that are relevant to you and ask away! You can even copy and paste them into a provider enquiry on Pairly.

Carer-related Questions:

Questions about Your Needs:

Questions about Charges and Terms & Conditions:

Questions about the Care Agency:

Key Questions a Home Care Agency Should Ask You:

When engaging with a home care agency, they should conduct their own assessment to develop a tailored care plan. They are likely to inquire about the following aspects:

It is important to note that if an agency fails to conduct a comprehensive assessment covering these areas, requesting them to do so is advisable.

Read more about the care services that are available