Finding a carer to provide respite care
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- Finding a carer, respite care
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Finding a carer to provide respite care
The right carer can help your loved one stay safe and independent in their own home- and give you the opportunity to rest and recharge your batteries. But when you are searching for respite there are lots of factors to consider.
What do you need?
Before you start your search, it’s essential to work out how much help your loved one needs and when the periods of respite would be most useful. Calculate how much the family can afford and look into any financial support that may be available.
Armed with this information it’s easier to find the person with the right combination of skills and experience to care for your loved one. This will allow you to relax, knowing they are being well looked after.
What should I look for?
Be completely honest and straightforward about the level of care your loved one needs and the amount of respite you are looking for. By being clear about the role’s requirements you can find the carer that best suits your needs.
When deciding on the right person, it’s a case of balancing up experience, qualifications and training, references and your own gut instinct. But the most important factor is the way the carer relates and responds to your loved one. It’s a good idea to run a trial session. This will give you the opportunity to watch them interact and check that your loved one is comfortable and content.
How to find the right person
Many options are available for finding and employing caregivers. You could look for a private carer, use a care agency, use local authority services or search through an introductory agency.
The best way for your family will hinge on how much control and responsibility you want. Each system has positives and negatives, by assessing these you can decide on the right path for you to employ the help you need.
You can advertise privately or look in the small ads. This can be an inexpensive, flexible and direct approach. You’ll have total control over the carer you choose, the times they work and the tasks that they will cover. However it is important to remember that this makes you an employer, which carries a number of legal and financial responsibilities.
You will need to supply your employee with a contract and pay National Insurance and liability insurance. You may also be responsible for sick pay and providing a pension and if the private carer is sick, finding alternative support will be down to you.
Home care agency
A home care agency can decrease the stress and hassle of finding the right respite carer. The agency should provide rigorous safety checks, including police searches and following up references. They’ll monitor quality of care throughout. They also handle payments, tax liabilities and insurance cover.
The extra work performed by agencies can make them a little more expensive, however this should be balanced against the security and reassurance they can offer. If a carer is ill they will provide alternative cover, so you know that you will be able to take your break.
Replacement care by the local authority
A care assessment by the local authority can be done to see if your loved one is entitled to assistance at home. If they are, the council can allocate a ‘personal budget’ that can be used to arrange and pay for private care.
In many ways introductory agencies are in between private care and an agency service. They are a way to search for specific care and employ self-employed caregivers. This can decrease some of the administrative burden and remove the responsibility for police and safety checks and the administration of contracts.
As carers are individual freelancers, there is no need to pay National Insurance. Many of these agencies will offer back-up cover in case of illness however it will be your responsibility to monitor quality of care.
Find out more about the range of respite care services that we offer throughout London.