5 Common Frustrations that Families may have in dealing with In-home Care Providers

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1. Poor communication from the office

This is always top of the list! Poor or inadequate communications from the office surrounding the care arrangements of a loved one can be hugely frustrating for a family member particularly if they are further away and unable to be more present to assist themselves. These family members are often juggling such busy families lives with their own children and sometimes grandchildren too that they need good quality and consistent communication from the office. A common error made is saying something like ‘I will call you back as soon as I can…’ A relative may think this means in the next 10 -15 minutes while someone in the office might think this means ‘in the next day or so’. No wonder frustrations can arise!

2. Not having one point of contact

It takes many bodies to make a care at home service function well but customers should not need to understand the entire office system and everyone’s function within it. Each customer should have one main point for contact throughout his or her journey with a provider. Ideally this should be the person who initially came out to see them when the initial contact was made so there is a meaningful face to face relationship and this office based person truly understands their situation, someone who can handle any aspect of their enquiry and if they don’t know the answer they should certainly be able to find it.

3. Invoicing mistakes

Inaccurate invoices can be a huge frustration. While often very straightforward to fix and make amends, errors show a lack of care surrounding the administrative processes. Mistakes could range from invoices being sent to the wrong address or for the attention of the wrong relative or they could include charges for services that were not provided. Customers should have such trust and confidence in the administrative procedures they feel they do not even need to check that their invoice are correct!   If there is invoice mistakes being make what other more critical mistakes might be being made?

4. When a relatives carer does not emotionally read a situation correctly

It is vital that care workers in the industry have loads of emotional intelligence. They should always be able to put themselves in the shoes of the relatives, many of whom live in different cities and act in a way that put everyone at ease and gives relatives confidence that their relative is being well looked after by a switched on individual. Over communication by a care worker on trivial matters – can often be a frustration for a busy relative as much as under communicating – its about a care worker striking the right balance about what the relative needs to know, e.g. ‘your mum was not feeling herself today…’ – does this mean I need to get on a plane ASAP and come and take care of a potential crisis or does it just mean she was just a bit slower and quieter today but otherwise healthy. Clear communication on such maters is vital – relatives are often juggling a lot of other things in their lives – clarity is essential.

5. Having decisions taken out of your hands and a general loss of control

This is far more common that anyone would like to think. I would be certain that most people who have been instrumental in making care arrangements for an elderly relative will have felt some loss of control at some point in the journey. I would add that this is less likely when dealing with a private in-home care provider as after all – you are the boss and you are in full control of your own arrangements. It’s more likely to become an issue if you are dealing with or have become heavily dependent on the social work for your care needs. Social work will often have a limited range of options/solutions to care issues and as the needs of an individual deteriorates, unless you very deliberately and intentionally take back control of the situation you may find yourself being pulled down a care route that you or your loved one was always previously keen to avoid.   – E.g. residential care.

I come across countless frustrated families who put up with the limitations of local authority care for a long time as they did not realise there was any alternative. If you are prepared to pay privately for a great service, and there are lots of great care providers out there, then, as a paying customer, you will always be in control.  By way of analogy, if you go down to Waitrose for your groceries, you and you alone are in control of what you put in your shopping basket – no one tells you what you can and cannot buy and you can enjoy a nice cup of coffee afterwards! Private care at home is no different.

About Us

Bright Care is a family-founded business providing care and companionship to the elderly in the peaceful comfort of their own home. Get in touch to talk to our dedicated care team and discover what’s possible for elderly loved ones.  

12 Quality Questions to ask when Selecting a Care Provider

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Finding the right care provider to look after a loved one could sometimes be a time consuming and confusing process. It can be hard to understand what really makes the difference between one care provider and the others. However, asking the right questions can easily improve the selection process and, often, allow the decision to be taken more quickly with full peace of mind. We have therefore listed below 12 key questions to ask to a care provider to have a clear understanding of how they operate, and to comprehend if they are the best choice for your needs.

 

1. What is the track record of the manager and what have they achieved in their post to date?

2. How does the organisation screen and recruit staff?

3. What characteristics does the organisation value most highly when hiring care staff? What characteristics would make someone unsuitable for working in your organisation?

4. How do they train new staff and what ongoing training occurs for existing staff?

5. What are the costs associated with the service? Is there any set up fees, on-going management fees, etc.?

6. How do we get in touch in an emergency?

7. Do they have a dedicated point of contact?

8. What were their Care Inspectorate grades and last inspection, and more crucially, which areas are they currently working on developing and improving?

9. How would you describe the culture of the organisation – what are their values?

10. How do we stay involved with my relatives care and how are we informed about things?

11. How do you maintain consistency in care staff? What happened if staff are ill or on holidays?

12. How do you ensure that your carers respect my relatives personal choices?

 

TOP TIP: The quality of a care provider always flows from the quality of the manager.  Trust your instincts. If you believe you can work with the manager and the manager sets a great positive culture and is competent in their role, chances are they hire great staff and run a great service.

About Us

Bright Care is a family-founded business providing care and companionship to the elderly in the peaceful comfort of their own home. Get in touch to talk to our dedicated care team and discover what’s possible for elderly loved ones.  

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