Choosing Your Private Carer

Choosing your Private Carer

Independent and private carers are a great option for finding high quality, affordable home care. But this doesn’t mean that every carer will suit you.

When choosing your private carer, it is important to find someone you can trust and get along with, whether you’re looking for a respite or long term service. 

It’s always a safe first step to work with a company like PrimeCarers. We run background checks and interview all our carers, so you know you’ll find someone reliable. We can also help you manage and handle your care online and provide ongoing support, so it’s as easy as possible for you to access the assistance you need. 

Knowing that the carers you’re considering have already been vetted is invaluable because it means there’s a lot less risk in finding someone to work with. It also takes away a lot of stress, so you can look at the other important factors for finding the best carer for you. Here are some things you should look for:

Personality

When it comes to choosing your private carer, nothing is more important than how well you get along with your carer, especially if they’ll be spending lots of time with you or your loved one. Do they make you feel safe? Would you enjoy talking to them and getting to know them over an extended period of time? The more positive energy they bring into the room, the better – make sure you smile around them, instead of feeling agitated.

Safety

We test our carers so we know they have a good understanding of the importance of safety when delivering care. But you must be also comfortable and confident in them, so ask questions to get a firmer understanding of their safety knowledge. 

A great question to ask is what needs to be changed in a home to make it safer. Pay close attention to whether they mention changes in the bathroom in particular, as having handrails near the shower and toilet is especially important

Technical competence

All carers found on PrimeCarers have already been assessed for overall competence, to ensure they’re well qualified to look after people. But it’s still important that they can perform the specific tasks you need to deliver care. As every person’s needs are unique, we recommend making sure your carer understands what you’ll need them to do and have practised these tasks.

The X-factor

Some carers might be able to bring extra valuable services or expertise that others don’t, which could make a big difference in who you pick. For example, they may have knowledge or training in nutrition, which could provide a better diet or meals. Some carers are also trained in physiotherapy or psychology, which could also be useful. Whatever their skills might be, these could be really useful extras for you to utilise.

The full picture

While details matter, your overall impressions matter just as much. Having a good feeling about someone is just as important, so make sure you take a step back and review your potential carer as a whole. Your overall feeling might be the decider in whether or not you can work with them.

How to run an interview with a carer

Interviews aren’t just stressful for the person answering your questions: there’s also a lot of pressure to make the best decision in the limited time you spend with someone. 

If you’re managing care for a loved one, then it can feel extremely difficult to know who you should pick. It’s equally stressful for the person receiving care, as they’re meeting a new person who will be in their personal space for potentially long periods delivering hands-on help. 

This is what we’d recommend doing in your interviews so you get the best information out of the people you meet.

Get to know them

When they first come in, start by making them a cup of tea and sitting down with them. Learn a little bit about them to start, and make sure they have the opportunity to learn about you. Remember that interviews are more than making sure a carer is right for the job. It’s also their chance to ensure they’ve got the right skills and are suited to working with you, too.

Understand if they can help

Give them the background information about their potential client, so they understand what day-to-day struggles they experience. Let them know what tasks will be required from your perspective, but also give them time to tell you what they think needs to be done. They do their jobs all day every day, so their advice and insight could be invaluable. It may also be useful for working out their level of knowledge.

Show them what needs to be done

Get up and take them on a tour of the house, so they can get a feel for what’s needed. They may also want to do their own risk assessment. You should also make sure you show them any equipment that needs to be used and make sure they understand it and can use it. Again, they may have some ideas for how things could be done that might benefit their client.

Thank them

They have taken some time out to see you, so thank them for their time and make sure there’s an opportunity for them to ask any questions they might have. If you think you might like to work with them, let them know that. You might be certain that you want to work with them straight away, and there’s nothing wrong with this. If you’re sure then you can offer them the role there and then – there’s no time like the present.

Choosing your private carer can be very daunting for you or your loved one, so make sure you take your time and find someone that ticks all the right boxes. While it might feel trickier than finding someone quickly to start, investing time into finding the right person is the best long-term solution to being happy with your carer.