Having help at home from a paid carer can make a huge difference to someone with a physical or mental health condition, such as dementia. Carers can assist with everyday tasks, run errands, take medication and provide company. This is known as domiciliary care. It can cost around PS20 an hour and is usually paid for by the council or private funds. Alternatively, people may receive a personal budget or short break support and employ a private carer themselves (called self-funding).

If you’re looking for a carer for your loved one, start by contacting the social services department at your local authority. They can help you with a needs assessment and refer you to a provider.

When you find a care agency, ask to see the quality report and registration with the Care Quality Commission (CQC). You can also use personalised care matching service Sweet Pea.

If your relative is living with dementia, look for a carer who has specific experience and specialist training. This means that they’ll understand your loved one’s condition and have the skills to maintain their dignity. They will also be able to handle difficult behaviour that can sometimes arise in people with dementia.

If possible, arrange an interview with the potential carer at their home or somewhere neutral like a cafe. It’s a good idea to bring along other family members to the interview so they can provide input. Ask about their work history and qualifications, as well as their references. Find a Carer

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