How to choose a care provider for your loved one
Aged care at home has made great progress over the last few years. Rather than assuming everyone is the same, today’s approach is all about the individual. Everyone has choice over the way they are supported, and control over how their services are delivered.
But this can be difficult if you are looking for a home care provider for a loved one who has dementia. Here are 8 tips to help you find a good fit, while involving your loved one in the process.
1. Ask plenty of questions.
There is no such thing as a silly question. When you first meet with a provider, ask (or encourage your loved one to ask) them everything you want to know about their services, support workers, fees, their approach to care, their process for complaints. You may even want to write down questions before your first meeting, so you don’t forget anything.
2. Ask about their approach to dementia care.
Best practice dementia care promotes problem solving, builds trust, and creates a sense of security. Is it based on the latest best practice approaches and research? Ask the provider what their approach is to dementia care. Does it give the individual a sense of dignity? Does it promote self esteem and quality of life?
3. Be open about what your loved one needs.
A care plan should meet a person’s unique needs. It’s important to tell any potential service provider how your loved one wants to be supported, what types of services they need, and what is important to them. You might also want to find out if they can be flexible to your family’s schedule, so your loved one can receive support at a time and day that suits t
4. Find out if they involve you in your loved one’s care.
If you care for your loved one or are part of their support network, find out how a provider plans to work with you to provide their services. The best care is collaborative and open to feedback. A good provider can help you understand the symptoms of dementia, better care for your loved one’s needs and communicate more meaningfully in day-to-day life.
5. Find out about their team.
Find out how the provider hires their staff – in particular, whether they are suitably experienced, qualified and able to provide ongoing care as dementia progresses. You could also ask how they match their customers with suitable support workers. A good provider will make the effort to provide you with a consistent team of professionals who your loved one feels comfortable with, rather than a different person each week.
6. Observe how they treat your loved one.
A home care provider should make their customer valued as a person. Take note of how the staff treat your loved one in your first few meetings. Are they friendly? Do they make an effort to get to know them? They should be respectful towards them, and as much as possible, include them as an active partner in your care.
7. Find out if their services are flexible.
It’s a good idea to choose a home care provider who can be flexible to your loved one’s timetable – as well as your family’s needs. Talk to them about what days and times are best for your loved one to receive support, and see if they are willing to accommodate your schedule and needs.
Do some research.
You may also want to do some research about the provider you’re considering, and see what other customers think about their services. Good places to start are their website, online reviews or forums where you can ask about other people’s experience with that provider. This might help give you an idea of what it’s like to partner with them for your loved one’s care.
Dementia Caring is passionate about providing care that is treats each person as an individual. As an Australia-wide NDIS and Home Care Package provider, we offer support that promotes your independence, dignity and choice – so you can live the life you choose. For more information about our dementia home care services, please get in touch.