It can be a big step to accept that you are no longer able to live completely independently. Perhaps you only foresee your care requirements being for a short time – for example when recovering from an operation, or perhaps you realise that you’ve reached the beginning of the end.

Either way it can be a worrying time. No one wants to accept that they have limitations in their daily life. Which is why it can be reassuring to talk to someone who can listen to your concerns and provide you with quality, impartial advice, to allow you to be confident you’ve made the right decision.

Asking friends and family

As with any other type of home service, your first line of questioning may be to ask friends or family about their use of home care services. Bear in mind that you will be talking to a small selection of home care users and that many of their experiences may be somewhat dated. This type of advice is typically not impartial – perhaps a particular care worker or agency stands out and will be recommended or slated based on one person’s perception of how well they did their job.

Look online

Like many other services, live in care jobs are widely advertised on the internet, both through agencies and directly. There are plenty of articles published by various companies but remember that advice given by someone who wants you to buy their service may be biased – even if they are trying to be impartial – so it can be difficult to know what to trust and what to take with a pinch of salt.

Talk to an independent institution

Many charities and local organisations that deal with older people will be able to offer advice on your care options. They can help you every step of the way from being unsure if you even need help to the day that your carer moves in – and beyond they can support you if you have difficulties with the care or worker provided.

Such organisations may be unwilling to offer specific details of agencies or care workers to avoid being accused of promoting one service over another. This means you can be sure of the impartiality of their advice, but you still have to find the service you require yourself.

Take advice from an umbrella organisation

There are not-for-profit companies that specialise in bringing together a selection of the best homecare providers. Together their members work to offer the highest standards of care to people across the country.

They will be more than happy to discuss your requirements and to provide you with quality, impartial, advice on how to choose an agency, what questions to ask yourself about the level of service you require, what questions to ask the agency and so on. They offer a service, rather like an independent financial consultant only instead of recommending how you should invest your money they advise you on how best to meet your care needs. This way, you should be able to make a decision based on all the facts, without worrying that you are not making the right decision as you don’t have all the informartion you need to do so.