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Choosing A Care Agency

There are many care agencies in Sussex to choose from, often providing similar services.  Some will be small, local agencies, and others part of large, national businesses.  The choice may come down to availability of the sort of care your parents need, at the time of day they want it.  This Age Space guide to choosing a care agency in Sussex should help you make the right decisions.

Whichever company you choose, please be sure to check their rating on the Care Quality Commission website.

If your parents are funding their own care you should try and get them assessed by social services before you embark on choosing an agency – so you know exactly what care you are looking for.  Alternatively, an Occupational Therapists assessment via the GP surgery might be a first step.

Prospective care agencies should also undertake an assessment with you and your parents.

Choosing a Care Agency

chooseacareagency

This useful search engine provided by Home Care can be used to find care agencies that would suit your relative’s needs. Alternatively, social services can give you a list of care agencies in your local area. Contact at least two or three potential agencies, asking them to send you more information and a price list.

It is recommended that you check the Care Quality Commission (CQC) listings and ratings of your chosen agencies to ensure they provide a high-quality service and check if they are a member of the United Kingdom Homecare Association (UKHCA).

At this point, you should ask your relative’s GP for a needs assessment to determine if they are entitled to free or subsidised home care.

The costs of a care agency do vary but they often average at between £10 and £20 per hour. Fortunately, the BBC have built this nifty tool which makes it easy for you to estimate how much hiring a carer might cost you.

Questions you should ask a prospective care agency:
  • Can you give my relative the specific care they need and meet their personal preferences?
  • Can the carer come at a time of our choosing?
  • How will you select the most suitable care worker for our needs?
  • Have the staff previously cared for someone with similar requirements?
  • What training do care workers receive before and during their employment?
  • Will my relative have a regular carer or will it be someone different each visit?
  • What happens if our regular care worker is sick or on holiday?
  • Is there a minimum or maximum number of hours we need to book?
  • Can we contact your agency during the day, outside office hours and in an emergency?
  • What records does the carer and care agency keep?
  • What charges will we be expected to pay?
  • Are there any hidden extras in your quoted price?
  • Is there a standard contract that we can read before signing?

You can find more helpful pointers about choosing a care agency in Which? Guide to Choosing a Home Care Agent.