As our help is tailored towards individual situations and preferences, it is generally considered helpful to be able to talk through potential options and their associated costs. We are happy to do this with no obligation from your part and no cost. However, we have prepared a few responses to some frequently asked questions below:
How do you source Heritage Live-in Carers?
Heritage already has a large number of carefully vetted carers registered with us, who have worked for our clients over many years. These carers have all satisfied our high selection criteria which includes the checking of all basic information (CV, DBS and training qualifications), a formal face to face interview, detailed written references and at least two recent verbal references.
To attract new carers to register, and join our team of self employed carers, Heritage Independent Living maintains a high profile in appropriate print publications and on-line job boards. Increasing number of carers also hear about us by word of mouth and then apply to us as a result of personal recommendations from both our clients and other carers.
Typically, only one in every ten carers who apply to Heritage, will be considered to have sufficient experience and the right outlook to register with us. These successful individuals will then be in a position to be matched with one of our clients.
How do we choose the best carer?
As a recruitment specialist it is our role to introduce the best possible match of carer for you to then make the final decision. All carers are vetted to work with vulnerable adults (DBS or equivalent checks) and all carers will only be introduced if they have appropriate training and excellent relevant experience. So the key to success is getting as a close a match in personal chemistry.
To do this we:
- Create an anonymised assignment description and ideal carer profile from the “registration interview”. We use this to create a shortlist of good available carers. Criteria typically include:
- Common interests and outlooks – this may point to a more mature carer
- Clearly spoken English (to aid where there are hearing issues) – majority of our carers are from the British Isles
- Location – the closer the carer to the client the better for both parties, particularly for ongoing assignments
- Send you the profile (a mini CV) of our choice of carer
- By talking through the detailed assignment, the carer will have already expressed a high level of interest in working for you, blocked out their diary and be expecting to be interviewed by you to confirm the assignment
- The profile includes all pertinent information including the carer’s photo
- An explanation of why we feel that this carer would be an excellent match
- Help you to be as much involved in the decision-making process as possible
- Organise interviews – usually by telephone or Skype (meeting the carer face to face is also possible but can lead to unacceptable time delays for the client)
- Discussing alternative approaches – eg an initial trial, different carers, different rotas
Do you facilitate care throughout the British Isles?
Yes – no exceptions.
As a nationwide company we not only provide carers throughout the UK we provide live-in carers across continental Europe either in a full-time ongoing capacity or as a travelling companion.
Are carers restricted to working fixed rotas and is there a minimum length of stay?
As one might expect from an agency which prides itself on its flexibility and ability to tailor solutions, there are no fixed durations of carer stay or fixed days when a carer period starts. There is no minimum length of stay but for practical and cost reasons, it is unusual to have a live-in carer for less than 3 days.
The duration of the carer’s stay will depend on the preferences of both you and carer. We recognise that most clients are looking for minimal change. This is generally achieved by getting the right match of individual so that both you and the carer will always look forward to being in the same household. To facilitate the return of a carer once they have had a break, we recognise the need to be flexible on the duration of a carer’s stay and help ensure a seamless handover between carers.
What are the options for night-time care?
Live-in carers are in the house overnight should there be an emergency. Occasionally when someone is unwell, they may need extra attention at night. The live-in carers are happy to help in these situations but may request some extra time off during the day to get some sleep.
If a client requires regular assistance during the night, then most live-in carers will provide “sleeping nights” cover for a small extra charge. Sleeping nights cover is only appropriate for clients requiring assistance once or twice per night – for more regular assistance “waking nights” cover needs to be organised.
Live-in carers who provide waking nights cover will be awake with the Client all night to provide them with the care when they need it. Waking nights carers would need the same accommodation as a daytime live-in carer and should be able to sleep during the day without being disturbed.
Waking nights carer can be provided either separately or as part of a 24-hour package of care. When care is required throughout the day and night, two live-in carers will work together in a shift pattern to provide 24-hour cover
Can we meet and interview a carer before they start?
We want you to be as comfortable as possible in the decision of choosing the right carer. Meeting and interviewing the carer is for some, an important part of this process (please see FAQ answer on How do we choose the best carer?)
We will assist in helping you interview the carer before you make the decision on the right carer. The interview will either be by telephone, by Skype or in person. However on many occasions, it is not practical to meet in person within an acceptable time-frame – for example you may live-in a rural location or the carer may be working with another client when you have availability to meet the carer.
If you are not totally comfortable with the choice of carer, there is no obligation for you to confirm the position. However once confirmed all parties will be working together to make sure that assignment gets off to a good start and it is quite common for the carer to arrive a day before care is required to meet the family and finalise any details.
Do the carers drive, shop, play Bridge, bake cakes, take the dogs for a walk…..?
We are often asked whether the carers will drive their clients to appointments, bake cakes, look after pets etc? The answer is yes because our role is to find the individual that closely matches your needs.
We are recruitment specialists and our role is to get the right match of individual. This is why the upfront work in understanding the assignment and ideal carer profile is so important.
What types of care can be provided?
Whether you require post-operative, respite or ongoing support any carer we introduce will be specialised in the specific conditions of the end-users.
As the choice of carer is tailored to your individual circumstances, the carer is likely to be experienced in a variety of conditions and will not only be able to help the end-user but also the end user’s family in dealing with these conditions
How much does live-in care cost?
Costs are directly affected by the carer’s workload and can vary significantly from companionship for a single client to specialised care for a couple.
A more detailed answer to how much live-in care costs can be found in costs but 7-day live-in care starts from as little as £705.
We are also able to offer live-in care for less than 7 days a week and on a part-time basis giving cost-conscious families alternative ways of reducing costs.
As well as being a more flexible solution than a residential care home, live-in care costs are generally considerably cheaper than costs at reputable residential care homes.
As our help is tailored towards individual situations and preferences, it is generally considered helpful to be able to talk through potential options and their associated costs. We are happy to do this with no obligation from your part and at no cost to yourself.
What if I don’t like my carer or my situation changes?
If, for whatever reason, you feel the need to ask the carer to leave – maybe the personal chemistry is not what you would like or you need to change the type care – then there are no long term tie-ins or penalties.
All we ask from both our clients and our carers are that they are considerate to all parties – short notice periods are covered in our terms of business.
If you would like us to find another carer, there is no additional cost.
What do the carers need?
A live-in care would need to have their own bedroom with space to store their belongings. The carers would also need to be provided with food, often they will eat the same food as the Client cooking a little extra and join them at mealtimes, unless the Client prefers to eat alone.
Many carers will also look for a household that has WiFI and for bathroom privacy.
What other options are there for organising live-in care?
There are 3 principal ways of arranging a Live-in Carer:
- by finding (generally through advertising) and vetting the carer yourself,
- using a specialist introductory agency that looks to recruit and match carers, usually working in a self-employed capacity, to end user needs and
- using a Managed Agency who will employ the carer.
Each has their merits and we would be happy to talk you through the advantages and disadvantages of the options available.
Unless the carer is well known to the family, most people who try to organise care themselves quickly realise the challenges of arranging continuous care a laborious and risky business. The question then is which agency will best suit your needs.
Although there are many differences between agencies, it is possible to generalise the benefits of engaging an Introductory Agency or a Managed Care Agency and these are summarised below:
- An Introductory Agency (that does not offer a managed service) is not eligible to be CQC registered Could be UKHCA accredited.
- Carers are responsible for keeping their own training up to date (and being able to provided evidence of training undertaken)
- Carers responsible for following a care plan that is agreed with the family and local health care professionals
- Client and client’s family are in control of the situation and have more say on aspects such as personality match.
- Carers are generally more experienced and paid more.
- Transparent costs (know exactly what the carer is being paid)
- Total costs are typically 50% less than those of a Managed Agency
- Subject to changes in employment law (IR35 etc)
- CQC registered and rated
- Carers are trained by the Managed Agency
- Carers are controlled and quality assured by the Managed Agency
- Less choice of individuals usually resulting in it being harder to match the client’s wider needs (ie cooking preferences, car driver, etc)
- Regular care agency visits and a standard care plan
- One invoice for both agency and carer
- More restrictive contracts (longer period to set up, longer notice periods, minimum care periods)
- Subject to changes in employment law (hours worked per day etc)
What are the CQC, UKHCA, Introductory and Managed Care Agencies?
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) regulates care activities in the UK. If an agency employs carers or trains carers (ie a managed care agency) it must be CQC registered. Under the Health & Social Care Act 2008, recruitment or introduction activities do not fall under CCQ regulation
Managed care agencies must be CQC regulated and their approval ratings are readily available on the CQC website. The CQC defines companies like Heritage Independent as an introductory agency.
Introduction agencies that are accredited with the UK Home Care Association (UKHCA) sign up to a charter in line with best practice policies to ensure that their activities facilitate the best possible care for vulnerable adults.
When can you start and how long does it take?
Once you have decided that you would like Heritage to work on your behalf, we can normally arrange the registration interview within a couple of days.
The start date of a new live-in carer is usually driven the client’s requirements and needs to take into account the time to organise client/carer interviews. While we have organised live-in carers to start within 24 hours of registration, we normally ask for 10 to 15 working days to introduce a live-in carer.