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What is home care?

Home care is professional support that helps a person to live a safe, happy and fulfilled life in their own home for as long as possible. This could be for someone who is ageing and would benefit from help with daily tasks to continue to live independently or would like some companionship. It is also for people with chronic health issues who need comprehensive support and medical interventions, for people recovering from surgery or an illness or for those living with a disability.

Home care can be provided by professional carers, nurses or therapists and can be long or short-term, depending on a person’s needs.

Male carer and female client looking at picked flowers on a park walk together

A new local care service in London from leading home care provider, The Good Care Group

What does home care mean?

If you are looking for additional support living at home, you may be wondering what defines home care and how it differs from other types of care.

Home care, also known as domiciliary care, is when professional carers provide support in the homes of people needing assistance. Home care is ideal for people who want to retain their independence and continue to live in the home they cherish, but would benefit from additional support around the house, companionship or medical help.

Home care is a common option for older people who are struggling to manage daily tasks on their own. However, it can also provide reassurance and independence for people with chronic health conditions, those living with a disability or as a temporary measure for people recovering from a recent illness, injury or surgical intervention.

Home care provides people with the security, safety and confidence to continue to live on their terms. Duties can vary depending on a person’s need and range from helping with personal care and errands to providing medical assistance and cooking meals.

At Cherished Home Care, our home care services give you the choice to live your way, with fully tailored care in the comfort of your own home. This includes a range of options, from live-in care to respite care or hourly home care visits.

We understand that having a home carer in your home can be daunting, which is why all of our home carers are fully trained and have an enhanced DBS background check to give you complete peace of mind.

Male carer and female client looking at picked flowers on a park walk together
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What does a home carer do?

The duties of a home carer depend on your needs. At Cherished Home Care, our home carers can help with the following:

General frailty Personal care

Personal care includes providing dignified support with self-care and hygiene, such as toileting, bathing and dressing.

household-tasks-icon Housekeeping tasks

Our carers can help with housekeeping tasks like washing your clothes, dusting and tidying to ensure that your home is a safe, enjoyable place for you to live.

medication-support-icon Medication support

Support administering medications and recording any medications given on a digital platform monitored by your care team.

complex-care-tasks-icon Monitoring health

Our home carers will help keep track of your overall health and report any changes or concerns to your loved ones or relevant healthcare professionals.

companionship Running errands

Our home carers can be on hand to help with errands, such as picking up groceries or collecting prescriptions, giving you one less thing to worry about.

Advanced dementia Mobility support

We can offer mobility support to help reduce your risk of falls or accidents. This can include carers proactively moving any risks or hazards within the home.

foodprep-icon2 Food prep & cooking

Our carers can help prepare and cook light meals and snacks to ensure you can maintain a healthy, balanced diet.

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What are in-home care services?

In-home care services provide people who may be struggling with daily tasks due to their age or ongoing health concerns the support they need to live in their own home. When choosing home care, you can choose introductory or fully managed home care services.

Female client and female carer sat outside in the garden

Introductory home care agency

An introductory home care agency introduces those in need of care to self-employed home care professionals. The home carer then works directly for the person needing care or their family.

Introductory home care agencies focus on matching a client with the most suitable home carer for them, depending on their care needs, their personality and what they like to do. For this reason, when using an introductory home care agency, you will often be asked for details about your personality, hobbies and routines, as well as your care needs.

Once an introductory agency has matched you with a suitable carer, you or your family will work with the carer to agree on a care plan and manage this moving forward. The agency does not get involved with the management of care.

Introductory agencies carry out background checks, such as an enhanced DBS check, interviews and assessments on all potential home carers to ensure that the carers they recommend are competent and can deliver safe care. They will also ask for proof of any specialist care skills or qualifications to make sure the home carer can provide the level of care they say they can.

Introductory home care agencies are recognised by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) but are not regulated by them. They are ideal for people wanting to retain more control over their care, as you or your family can manage them directly. They can also be cheaper as you only pay for the care you receive.

However, using an introductory home care agency means you are responsible for managing the home carer. This can include holiday pay, finding cover during any sickness and paying things like their National Insurance contributions.

Male carer and male client in wheelchair outside

Fully managed home care services

Fully managed care services, like those offered by Cherished Home Care, take complete responsibility for the management of home care services. We employ, train and supervise all our carers directly, so you can be sure you consistently get the highest standards of care available.

In addition, with fully managed home care, you don’t have to worry about paying your carer’s holiday pay, sick pay, National Insurance or pension contributions, as it is all taken care of. The company you choose to provide home care is also responsible for providing alternative care if your usual carer is ill, meaning you know you have dependable care no matter what happens.

Fully managed care services are regulated and assessed by CQC, who inspect the services offered and provide ratings which can help inform your decision when choosing home care services.

Fully managed home care services take the hassle out of finding and managing reliable home carers. This makes them ideal for people with no family living nearby or those who want the reassurance that their care will run seamlessly. However, as the care is fully managed, it can be slightly more expensive than care offered through introductory home care agencies.

At Cherished Home Care, we work with people needing care and their families to ensure the home care we provide is fully tailored to your needs. This could be through live-in care or hourly care as and when you need it.

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When should I consider home care?

You may want to consider in home care services if:

  • You need help managing day-to-day tasks like washing, dressing, or getting out and about on your own.
  • You feel you need some support but don’t want to leave your own home.
  • You are recovering from a recent illness or surgery and need short-term support while you recuperate.
  • You live with a long-term chronic health condition, like dementia, but still want and are able to live at home with support.
  • You have limited family or friends around you and would benefit from visits to provide companionship.
Female and male carer working together on the laptop
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How do I choose the right home care provider?

Home care means allowing someone into your home to provide additional support, so finding a home care provider you can trust is of the utmost importance. To find suitable home care providers, you can:

  • Contact your local council for a list of local home care providers
  • Search the NHS websiteto find local home carers
  • Search online for home care providers near where you live

Once you have a list of home care providers in your local area, you can look into these to see which might be right for you. It is a good idea to start by looking at reviews on websites such as Trustpilot, as well as checking home care provider reports on the Care Quality Commission (CQC)website.

If you are using a fully managed home care provider, such as Cherished Home Care, they will ensure all their carers have an up-to-date enhanced DBS background check and the latest training. You can also review the provider’s performance and CQC rating.

If you are looking at using independent home carers, you should ask any potential carers to provide references of people they have cared for previously. You must also ask for proof of qualifications and an enhanced DBS background check.

Male carer checking care notes on his work laptop
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Home care designed for you

At Cherished Home Care, we are all about providing choice in the care you receive so that you can continue to do the things in life you cherish. Whether you are looking for live-in home care support for a complex condition, respite home care temporarily or companionship home care for elderly relatives, we can find the right solution for you through our bespoke home care packages.

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