What should you expect from home care services?

Five things you should expect from home care, domiciliary care or help in the home.
Elderly woman smiling at camera from community event

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has published a guide for older people who want to arrange help at home from a paid carer. This type of care is also known as domiciliary care or home care. 

Five things to expect from a good home care service

1. Care workers meet your needs

Care workers should have the right skills needed to support you, for example if you have dementia or are deaf or blind. They should also respect your cultural and religious values and make sure that your needs are met.

2. You feel comfortable with your care workers

You should expect to see the same care workers regularly, so they can get to know you and be familiar with your needs including how you like to communicate and your likes and dislikes.

3. You are aware of changes in advance

If for any reason, your regular care worker is unable to visit you, you should be told in advance that a different care worker is coming.

4. Your care diary is regularly updated

Home care workers and others who help you at home such as physiotherapists or community nurses should update your care diary each time they visit.

5. You have a home care plan that meets your needs

You could be given a plan that describes the care the agency will be providing that is focused on what is important to you and includes any specific health problems or disabilities you may have.

To make sure that the plan is meeting your needs you should have a review within the first six weeks of your first care visit. After that, the plan should be reviewed at least once a year.

Need more help to decide the care support that is right for you?

The NHS website has more information on helping you to decide whether help at home from a paid carer is right for you, as well as the different types of care that are available, advice about funding your care and your rights.

NHS advice and information

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