Questions to ask when looking for home nursing

Getting the right care for a loved one is vital. Whether respite, cancer or palliative care, you need the answers to various questions. Finding care can be a stressful time for you and your family. It might be difficult to keep track of all the things you need to know. That’s why we’ve compiled a useful list of questions to ask when looking for home nursing services.

These questions will help you prepare for helping your loved one get the best care possible. To find out more about our nursing agency read our About Cavendish Homecare section

Your relative’s needs

Your relative is an individual with their own unique needs. As someone you care about, you want the best for them. That means having to be clear on exactly what they require from a care provider. Specific details of medications and your relative’s preferences will result in the most appropriate help.

  • What are the details of any illness or condition(s) your relative suffers from?
  • Do they take any medication?
  • How does your relative prefer to communicate? How well can they see and hear?
  • Are there any problems with continence or mobility?
  • Is there any equipment your relative uses to aid their mobility?
  • What are your relative’s dietary requirements or preferences around food and drink?
  • Do they have any religious or cultural needs?
  • How will the most suitable care workers be matched to your relative’s needs?
  • Will you be able to find care worker(s) that can visit at the time your relative needs care?
  • What happens if a care worker and your relative are incompatible? Could a different care worker be requested?
  • How will care workers get into your relative’s home if he/she cannot answer the door? How will that information be kept secure?

Finding the right care workers

Everyone has a right to expect high standards in care for their loved ones. Your care services should not only help to keep them safe and well, but also treat them with dignity and respect. Good quality care staff will treat your relative as an individual and listen to your wishes. Asking questions about staff training and procedures will help.

  • How are care nurses and staff hired and or selected?
  • How far are care staff willing or able to travel?
  • Do all care workers undergo a criminal records check?
  • What sort of training do the care workers receive? Is an induction period with additional support from more senior staff available?
  • How often is care workers’ training updated?
  • What qualifications and experience are care workers expected to have?
  • Will your relative have a regular care worker?
  • What happens in the event of a medical emergency? Will the agency care worker stay with your relative until help comes? Will they notify you of any problems?
  • What will happen if your relative’s regular care worker is off sick or needs to take holiday?
  • What happens if staff are unable to get to your relative due to adverse weather conditions or travel disruptions?
  • How many different care workers are likely to visit your relative in a week or a month?
  • Will there be written records of the care provided, or accurate timesheets for you to sign?
  • Can copies of records be sent to you at your request?

About the agency

When you choose care workers, they may work for an agency. It’s important to find out as much as you can about the agency’s policies and procedures. Here are some relevant questions you might ask:

  • Does it have a standard contract for work with private clients? Can we see a copy?
  • What are the hourly charges? Are there any minimum charges (such as a minimum number of hours per week)?
  • What happens on weekends and bank holidays? Is care provided? Is there an additional charge at these times?
  • How is payment required and how often?
  • Are there are any extra charges?
  • What insurance is in place or available to protect your relative? E.g. in case of damage to property, care staff making a mistake, or a care worker having an accident in my relative’s home?
  • How does the agency ensure the quality of care is maintained? What are its quality assurance policies and procedures?
  • Who should be contacted (outside office hours if necessary) if there are problems with a care worker or the service provided?
  • Is it possible to conduct a short trial period, to see how you and your relative find the services?

Other things to consider

Here are a few other things you might check or think about asking:

  • Include details of anyone else involved in supporting your relative, in case you are unavailable.
  • Can your relative make decisions about their care for themselves, all or part of the time? Making this clear will help staff or care workers to know.
  • Do you or anyone else have a legal role to make decisions on behalf of your relative?
  • Does your relative poses a risk to themselves or others by living at home? Will this affect the safety of any care workers visiting?

We have answered some of these questions on our FAQ page. Find out how Cavendish Homecare deliver exceptional care.

If you'd like to know more, or to discuss your requirements, please call +44 (0)203 008 5210

Or click here to email.