Health & Wellness Blog

17/05/2024

Disability Support: Finding the Right Homecare Provider

Ben Cooper

Whether you require disability support for yourself or a family member, finding and choosing the right homecare provider is an important decision to make, and can directly impact quality of life.

 

It’s important to do your due diligence and find the right homecare provider - someone that cares about you or your families safety and wellbeing, demonstrates a high level of care, and is qualified to do the job. Ultimately, people want to find a home care provider that feels like the right fit, and that process can take time.

 

Here are our top five suggestions for those looking for disability support, and searching for the right homecare provider for their personal situation.

Define what type of homecare you require

Before beginning your search, it’s important to know exactly what kinds of services and support you need from a homecare provider, as levels of service often differ between organisations.

 

  • Day-to-day assistance: Some organisations will offer home care services to help with day-to-day living and accessibility. These include household tasks such as meal preparation, cooking, cleaning and laundry, assistance with going shopping, attending appointments and visiting friends, or companionship and general help throughout the day.

  • Nursing and/or medical support: Other organisations work with registered or enrolled nurses and healthcare assistance, who are trained to offer showering, dressing, personal care and assistance with medical prescriptions, through to more specialised services such as health monitoring, physiotherapy or massage.

 

It’s important to consider what services you might need over the course of time, so that as your needs change, your homecare service provider is able to meet them. Once you have a clear understanding of what services you’ll need, you can use this information to guide your selection process.

 

Prepare questions ahead of time

Asking the right questions upfront can quickly rule out homecare providers that aren’t quite the right fit, or help to confirm that an organisation you’re looking into might be just right. That’s why when engaging with disability support organisations for the first time, it’s important to be prepared.

 

We recommend jotting down a few questions that are important to you or the person you’re enquiring on behalf of, which could include:

 

  • What is the screening process you go through to hire caregivers?
  • What kind of services do you provide / are they tailored to individual needs?
  • How much do your services cost and how do these costs vary as/should my needs change?
  • How do you monitor and ensure a consistent quality of care?
  • What are your emergency processes?
  • How does your organisation guarantee that the fit between patient and carer is a good match?

 

Ask as many questions as you need to, in order to feel comfortable and sure that you’re making the right decision.

Consider awards, testimonials and recommendations

Homecare providers are well-versed in sharing their services, value proposition and point of difference with potential clients. However, we’d always recommend looking into what others are saying about an organisation, in this order:

 

  • Recommendations: Having a personal recommendation from someone you trust is a great place to start. If an organisation hasn’t been directly referred to you, make sure to ask around people you know, or even forums and social media discussion groups to get a feel for valued providers.

  • Testimonials: Often, homecare providers will offer client testimonials on their website that showcase how people in similar circumstances have found working with an organisation. You can also read reviews on Google My Business pages - the more stars and positive reviews, the better.

 

  • Awards & Partnerships: Make sure to look into what industry awards a homecare provider has received, as this indicates the level of service you're likely to experience. It’s also a good idea to research partnerships and see which reputable organisations your provider is aligned with.

 

Get a feel for the people behind the organisation

The decision on which homecare provider to go with will often come down to whether you get a good feeling from the people behind the scenes.

 

Make sure to take note of your first impression - did you enjoy your conversation? Were they forthcoming with information and helpful? Did they come across as professional?

 

To get a good understanding of this, we’d recommend meeting with a provider in person before you engage long term. Ideally, you’ll have a pleasant and caring experience from the very beginning of your interactions.

Evaluate the cost

Last but not least, cost is a key factor in which homecare provider to choose. Make sure to set a budget that works within your means, be clear and upfront with what you can afford, and ask what payment plans or financial support homecare providers can offer.

 

In New Zealand, there are a number of options for financial support available:

 

 

Always ask homecare service providers for their assistance and expertise when it comes to financing homecare services, before you make your decision.

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