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Making the decision to start on your Cheltenham home care agency journey is a big step for both you and a loved one. You undoubtedly want only the absolute best, but working out which provider is right for you can sometimes feel overwhelming. We hope this article will serve as a guide to help you on the first step in this process.

It will offer advice on evaluating the experience and qualifications of home care providers in Cheltenham. Also help understanding their reputations, and matching their services to the specific needs of your loved one.

We firmly believe that an individual should be at the centre of their own care, and empowered to make the decisions that will affect them.

We will help you and your loved one access well balanced and detailed information. Also, we’ll enable individuals to make a well-informed choice that ensures compassionate and competent home-based care in Cheltenham. 

Evaluating the experience and qualifications of a Cheltenham home care agency

A good starting point to assess a provider’s experience is to look at the home care agency on the Care Quality Commission website. The CQC is an independent body that monitors and inspects care providers. The CQC will ensure their services are delivered in a safe, effective and compassionate manner. Furthermore, the CQC publishes all inspection reports and ratings on their website.

Pay particular attention to how long the home care agency has been in business. Additionally, how many individuals they’ve cared for, and what specialist areas they’ve worked in. These are all good indicators of their ability to be knowledgeable and flexible if your needs change. It’s also worthwhile checking which qualifications their caregivers have, as well as the ongoing training and development they provide. How up to date are they on the latest best practice? Are they regularly looking for ways to improve their service?

As well as detailed online research, ask to meet the provider in person. Be prepared and write a list of questions in advance. For example, how they select a caregiver, how they keep records, and how often they review care plans. Talk to your loved one about what’s important to them and ask the provider for more details in these areas. This could be anything from how the provider will respect your loved one’s dignity, to whether they can be accompanied to the gym. Enabling your loved one to express their unique preferences will ensure they’re always at the centre of their own home care.

Don’t underestimate the importance of your instincts. Your loved one will need to feel comfortable with a person who’s in their home regularly. Consider whether you feel a connection with the provider and the overall values that guide their care.

Understanding their reputation

There are many ways to delve deeper into a care provider’s reputation. No one way is necessarily better than another. It’s a good idea to use a mix of sources to create a balanced view and build a full picture.

Start close to home in Cheltenham. Talk to friends, neighbours and members of the local community that have a connection to the provider. Anecdotal evidence might not feel very official, but it’s often very honest. Talk to people whose values and priorities match those of your loved ones. It’s also possible to request formal references from other service users and to read reviews online.

Similarly, your loved one’s local GP or other healthcare professionals will likely have valuable knowledge they can share. Often, an individual’s care is managed by more than one professional. Therefore, being able to maintain open communication between them will lead to an effective, holistic care plan that enhances their mental wellbeing as well as attending to the physical aspects of their care. If a home care agency already has strong working relationships with your loved one’s health care professionals in Cheltenham, this builds a solid foundation for their future.

Matching their services to the specific needs of the care recipient

A great advantage of home care is that it can be tailored to suit your loved one’s needs and preferences. Home care provides specialist healthcare to and scheduled visits that work around your loved one’s daily activities. Furthermore, home care enables individuals to continue living a full and rewarding life in the comfort of their own home.

Some agencies might be focused on certain areas more than others, so it’s important to establish early on what you’d expect your home care agency to offer.

Ask your loved one about their priorities; empower them to take control of their own care by involving them in discussions. Perhaps there are everyday tasks around the house they need support with, or maybe they’d like support to continue the activities they already enjoy in Cheltenham.

Consider the frequency and timing of visits and whether your loved one needs short term support during a period of recovery, or longer-term management of a progressive condition. If you have specific healthcare needs such as dementia or diabetes, check whether the agency employs specialist caregivers in these areas.

How can Caremark help?

As well as Cheltenham and Tewkesbury Caremark, Caremark Gloucester & Stroud have been providing home care agency services for thousands of people at home since 2005. Our dedicated and well-trained care workers are thoroughly screened and matched to individual needs, ensuring the right kind of support for your loved one.

We’re always happy to talk about how we can help, so please don’t hesitate to email or call us.


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