How do I find good home help ?

 How do I find good home help for my parent?

A home help enables elderly people remain in their own home for longer and is often a preferred choice for many than residential care. It is also considerably more affordable and often attendance allowance will pay towards the cost.

As I am a home help myself, I do feel suitably experienced to answer this question. I work on a self-employed basis and have nearly 30 people I visit either on a weekly or fortnightly basis.

I carry out a range of duties including

  • Cleaning
  • Cooking
  • Light gardening
  • Bill paying/administration
  • Accompanied visits to doctors/dentists
  • Personal care if required
  • laundry 
  • Shopping

These jobs are not particularly difficult for me but make a huge difference in the life of the people I help. I am also a welcome visitor and always cheerful with some news to share.

I may sound big headed but as Noel Edmonds once said in his book “Cosmically Happy” – “It doesn’t matter what job you do so long as you are the best at it” and I always aim to be the best at what I do.

I have no NVQ or formal carer qualifications, yet I am amazingly committed and organised.

I would always recommend when looking for a good home help to find someone who is really busy. If they are busy they are reliable, honest and hardworking.

I have always said a CRB check  (Criminal Records Bureau) does not prove a persons honesty or integrity It just proves they have not been caught !!!

When looking for a good help always ask for a selection of their current clients phone numbers. If they are good workers they will be happy for their customers to confirm this. Written references from the elderly are inconvenient.

Word of mouth is the best advert for a good home help. I always have a waiting list and people ready to make use of my services at short notice. Ask someone you know who has a help if they have any time available.

The only downside of using an individual over an agency that I can see is that if they are away, usually, there is no-one available to cover them. I am working on this in my business at present and as a last resort needed to call in my lovely mum to help me recently. Bless her she is a retired nurse and was a star.

Agency carers can be wonderful and offer a wider range of persona care than  I tend to and there is always someone available to cover absence. They do charge more and often you may have many different carers in one day/week and there is often not quite the same relationship.

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Award-winning blogger and care columnist for Devon Life magazine, Caron also campaigns for recognition of the needs elderly people and their carers. Designer and creator of the award-winning Dementia Assistance Cards which are free to all, and helping thousands of people globally Caron is passionate and committed to making a difference

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