We know that arranging care for elderly parents can be a stressful and challenging time for many families. For over 75 years, Prestige Nursing & Care has helped families up and down the country to find a comfortable and safe care solution that keeps their parents living independently in their own homes.
If you have decided that home care for your elderly parents is the right option for you and your family, there are several ways that you can go about finding the right person. Some of these options include hiring a private carer, using an introductory agency or a fully-managed home care service like Prestige Nursing & Care.
Here we provide detailed guidance on how to arrange care for elderly parents to help you and your family make an informed decision.
What Are My Options for Elderly Care?
Choosing the right care option can make all the difference in ensuring your parents are comfortable and well cared for. Here we compare three of the most popular choices for home care: private carers, introductory agencies, and fully managed care providers.
Hiring a private carer directly means you have full control over selecting and employing a caregiver for your parents. This option allows for personalised care tailored to your parent’s specific needs.
- Personalised and Flexible: You can choose a carer who is a perfect match for your parent’s requirements and preferences.
- Costs: Private carers offer a cheaper hourly rate because there is no one overseeing and managing the service.
- Legal Obligations: As an employer, you are responsible for payroll, taxes, insurance, and adhering to all employment regulations.
- Limited Cover: If your carer is unavailable or sick, arranging backup care last minute could be challenging.
Introductory agencies act as intermediaries, connecting you with potential carers for a one-off fee. That is typically the end of the agency’s involvement in the arrangement. Some training and background checks are usually provided, but the client is responsible for paying the carer and managing the care arrangement.
- Caregiver Selection: You can choose a carer based on their skills and compatibility with your parent’s needs.
- Flexibility: You can set the terms and hours of care directly with the selected carer.
- Limited Oversight: Introductory agencies are not regulated by the Care Quality Commission, so it can be difficult to assess and verify the quality of the care provided.
- Responsibility for Caregiver: In case of any issues with the caregiver, resolving conflicts or finding a replacement is your responsibility.
Fully Managed Care Providers
Fully managed care providers, like Prestige Nursing & Care, offer comprehensive care services and manage all aspects of the care arrangement. This includes hiring, training, paying, and managing your care team.
- Professional Support: You benefit from a team of experienced and trained professionals with experience in all aspects of elderly care.
- Reliability: A fully-managed service provider ensures consistent care is provided even if a caregiver becomes unavailable.
- Regulatory Compliance: Fully managed providers are regulated by the Care Quality Commission and their reviews of care services are available freely online. This provides great reassurance to families over the quality of the care provided.
- Higher Costs: Fully managed care may have higher fees due to the greater levels of support and oversight provided.
A Step-by-step Guide to Arranging Care for Elderly Parents
Consider the Wishes of Your Parents
When deciding on the best care option for your elderly parents, it is important to consider not just their practical care needs but their wishes and preferences as well. When choosing between care options, try and keep your loved one’s opinions and feelings at the forefront. Failing to include them in the care planning process can lead to a poor experience with home care and can even undermine their health and overall well-being.
Arrange a Care Needs Assessment
Once you have determined the most suitable type of care for your loved one, your first step should be to explore whether they qualify for funding that can help alleviate some or all of the care costs.
In the UK, local councils are legally responsible for offering financial support to individuals requiring care, including home care services. This form of support is known as social care funding.
To access this funding, you need to arrange a care needs assessment. This assessment evaluates your loved one’s care requirements and whether they are eligible for funding. The care needs assessment is completely free of charge, and anyone can apply for it. You can request an assessment by contacting your local council’s Adult Social Services or by speaking to your GP or district nurse.
Social care funding is subject to means-testing, meaning the council will conduct a financial assessment to determine your capacity to fund the care independently. During the assessment, all sources of income, including capital, pensions, benefits, and other financial resources, will be taken into account. If the combined capital exceeds £23,250, you may be responsible for covering all or some of the total cost of the care.
Utilise Local Council Services
Once your parent qualifies for social care funding, a personalised budget will be allocated to cover their expenses. The local council has the responsibility of ensuring your active involvement in decision-making regarding the type of care and support you receive and how that money is allocated.
The council will create a comprehensive care plan outlining the services and assistance to be provided, including the funding available for home care.
It’s crucial to recognise that council services face significant demands. If you prefer a more personalised and tailored approach to your care, you have the option to request direct payments.
Direct payments entail the council transferring the funds directly into your bank account, empowering you with more control over how the budget is allocated, instead of the council making care service decisions on your behalf.
With direct payments, you gain the flexibility to use the budget for services, equipment, or activities that align precisely with your parent’s care needs, such as engaging a home care service whether it be a private carer, an introductory agency, or a fully-managed service provider.
To secure approval for direct payments, you need to demonstrate that either your parents or someone on their behalf can effectively manage the personal budget and that the care service you have chosen falls within the budgetary constraints. This empowers families to tailor care arrangements according to their specific preferences and requirements.
Choose a Care Provider
There are different ways that you can arrange elderly care at home for your parents and each has its own benefits and limitations. Here we explore the three most common types: hiring a private carer, using an introductory agency or a fully-managed care provider like Prestige Nursing & Care.
Hiring a Private Carer
One option is to privately hire someone to provide care in your own home. While this can be a flexible arrangement, it does come with the responsibility of finding and vetting a suitable carer, as well as managing the care they provide.
The first step in this process is to find an appropriate candidate for the role. This includes identifying, vetting, and interviewing potential carers. Although hiring a family member or friend may seem like the logical choice, remember that issues may arise in your relationship as that person becomes your employee and no longer just family or a friend.
Once you have found a suitable candidate, you will need to take on the role of an employer and assume the legal responsibilities that come with it. This includes providing a written statement of employment or contract, paying the employee, and managing holiday pay and statutory sick pay. You will need to ensure they are covered by Public Liability Insurance and Employer’s Liability Insurance.
You will also have the responsibility of ensuring their health and safety while they provide care in your home. This includes making sure they do not work excessive hours and are given appropriate rest breaks. In case the care arrangement does not turn out as expected, you will need to find a replacement and go through the hiring process again.
An Introductory Agency
An introductory agency offers a valuable service by connecting individuals with self-employed carers or nurses. For a one-time fee, the agency will introduce you to a professional carer who has undergone thorough vetting and meets the agency’s standards.
Using an introductory service comes with advantages, especially since the carers are typically registered as self-employed, taking care of their own tax and National Insurance obligations. This provides a convenient alternative to independently hiring and having to employ a private carer.
However, it’s essential to understand that once the agency makes the initial introduction and receives its fee, its involvement typically ends. Families then shoulder the responsibility of overseeing, managing, and organising all aspects of care for their loved ones. This can be time-consuming and add to the stress families may already be experiencing during this challenging time.
A Fully-managed Service Provider
Few options provide the reassurance and peace of mind as a fully-managed service provider like Prestige Nursing & Care.
Prestige Nursing & Care is not an agency. Unlike a home care agency, we are a fully managed and regulated complex care provider. This means our clients, their families and our professional partners can be reassured that the care and support we provide those living with adult complex care needs are of the very highest quality.
Unlike introductory agencies, our service is regulated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), the independent regulator of health and social care in England. We are proud that 96% of our inspected services have been rated as providing a ‘Good’ service, with 4% rated ‘Outstanding’. All our services in Scotland have been awarded a five-star rating.
We are completely accountable for the care we provide, which eliminates worry and provides reassurance to families that their loved one is in safe hands.
Find out why our clients choose Prestige Nursing & Care for a high-quality, responsive complex care service.
Arranging Care for Elderly Parents
We are here to help you and your family every step of the way. You can call us on 0808 239 1525 and one of our friendly care advisors will provide information, guidance and advice on your care options.
We offer a free home consultation at no obligation to you. One of our care advisors will meet with you and your family to discuss how Prestige Nursing & Care provides the care your parents need to continue living a fulfilling life at home.