Which Care Agency?



I have been asked on many occasions what advice I could offer to help clients and their loved ones to choose a care agency.


I have compiled these ‘Top 10 Essential Factors’ to help my clients, their loved ones and anyone else who may be wondering where to start.


I hope that this information helps you and your loved ones to make the right decision. 



1. A Strong reason why

Choosing a care agency can be a daunting experience, having a strong reason why can help you towards making this decision.
Have you or a family member been the carer for your loved one? Or is the carer for yourself?
Perhaps being a carer is impacting on your relationship with your loved one or it just feels like too much.
Whatever the reason, choosing a carer or a care agency can seem overwhelming.
Having a powerful reason why can help towards making this decision.



2. Do you have consent?

If the carer is for a loved one, do you have their consent?
Obtaining permission from your loved one is a necessary part of this process.
What if your loved one lacks the capacity to give consent?
What if they’re unable to decide what is in their best interest due to their health? What if you’re unsure?
Consult The Mental Capacity Act and identify a mental capacity assessor to conduct an assessment.



3. Geographical area

Is the care agency based locally to you?
Does the agency cover your geographical area?
How far are they willing to travel?
Do they cover travel costs?





4. Can they meet your needs?

Do you have specific needs?
Are you looking for hourly care calls?
Would you prefer block care, morning, afternoon or through the night?
Would you like a full-time live-in carer?
Would you like reablement goals incorporated into the care provision?



5. Carer leave cover

How many carers do they employ? Are you able to have a regular carer?
Would there be cover if your regular carer was on leave or off sick?
These questions are helpful to ensure that your needs will be met.




6. Care costs

Is care affordable for you?
Do you have sufficient funds for care costs in the future?
Have you forecasted the cost of care in the upcoming months and years?
What if you have insufficient funds? Would you be eligible for direct payments?



7. Suitably trained

Is the carer suitably trained?
Do they have essential training in the following areas:
    • Moving and handling
    • First aid
    • Administering medication
    • Fire safety
    • Communicating effectively
Does your loved one have specific needs, such as a stoma bag, PEG feed or other health needs?


8. Care Quality Commission (CQC) rating & testimonials

What is the CQC rating? What is this rating for?
What criteria does the CQC cover?
Consult the CQC website for further information.
Can you seek out testimonials or personal recommendations from friends or family?





9. Communication

Is the care agency easy to get in touch with?
Are they accessible? Do you find them easy to talk to?
Is it easy to ask for changes?
Are they adaptable and flexible in meeting your needs?
Are they problem focused or solution focused?




10. Trust your instincts

Have you met with the care agency? How do you really feel about the care agency?
It is recommended that you meet a minimum of three care agencies to compare them.
Do you have a good feeling or is there a ‘niggly feeling’?
Please do listen to that inner voice to help you to decide.



 Choosing a care agency may still feel like a daunting task. Please remember that you can ask for help if you need support to guide you through this process.

I hope that this information has helped you to consider essential factors that will support you to make the right decision for you.

If you would like further advice or support with creating a person-centred reablement programme for yourself or for your loved one.

Please telephone on 07341265564 or email on info@homeindependenceot.co.uk or complete the contact form here.


Written by Sophia Dickinson Occupational Therapist


Copyright (2020) Home Independence Occupational Therapy Ltd. A Leicestershire based company