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Choosing a care provider

Once you’ve decided on the type of care you’d like, the next step is to choose your care provider. Research can be time consuming but it will be worthwhile to find the right provider for you.

Home care providers

If you’re eligible for funded care, your local authority will point you towards their own home care service or recommend a local provider.

If you don’t qualify for financial assistance, or you’d prefer not to involve social services, you can contact private providers or local voluntary organisations.

When you’re deciding on a home care provider, ask yourself if their services match your needs right now, as well as the needs you expect to have in the future.

Also ask if the provider:

  • is registered with its regulator (see the bottom of this page to find the regulator in your part of the UK)
  • is a member of the United Kingdom Home Care Association
  • has checked its staff with the Disclosure and Barring Service (formerly known as the Criminal Records Bureau)
  • fully trains its care workers and monitors when they visit your home
  • gives you a free home visit to assess your requirements

Care homes

Moving your life to another place is never an easy decision, even when you appreciate the benefits of doing so. However, you have plenty of choice and you can select a care home anywhere in the country, even if your local authority will be funding your care.

This is providing:

  • a place is available and it’s suitable for the needs your local authority has assessed for you
  • the home will agree to your local authority’s conditions for providing care, and
  • it doesn’t cost more than your local authority would expect to pay for care for your needs. If it does cost more, you may still move to that home if you or someone else can pay the difference.

When you’ve shortlisted the homes you’re interested in, visit them and ask plenty of questions. Find out what the other residents think and decide if you’d feel at home there. It’s also a good idea to read the home’s inspection report, which you can get from the regulatory body’s website.

It’s important to check the small print in the contract, particularly for things like fee increases. Get a second opinion if necessary, and make sure you know what your signature commits you to. Before you sign, you could ask if the home offers a trial period.

Regulatory bodies

For more information on registered care homes and home care services, or to view inspection reports, you can visit the appropriate regulatory body’s website:

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