You can also opt to book care through a home care agency . Using an agency may mean you have less control over who the carer is, and is usually more expensive, but has the advantage that the agency will take care of most of the tax paperwork and payroll, and will arrange cover if your usual assistant is not available.
Home care agencies will provide trained care workers or, when required, nurses who can come to your home to assist with tasks such as:
- shopping, cleaning, laundry, ironing
- personal care such as washing, bathing, dressing, going to the toilet, and managing any problems with incontinence
- meal preparation
- taking medication
- treating ongoing health problems which require specialist nursing input (including receiving injections, changing dressings and bandages)
- going out in the local community
Agencies will charge different amounts depending on the type of care required. Personal care and nursing care is sometimes more expensive than, for example, help with cleaning your home because the carers require additional training.
Some agencies will offer specialist support for people with particular needs, for example people with learning disabilities, people with dementia or mental health problems, or people with brain injuries.
Depending on your needs and your financial situation you can choose to have a care worker visit you once or twice per week, or one or more times per day, or you can arrange for someone to be with you 24 hours a day.
Choosing a home care agency
Home care agencies in your area
You can find details of agencies that may be able to help you in our Services and Products section. Do a search using the words ''domiciliary care' in the search box at the top of this page for an extensive list of local home care agencies.
Alternatively you can look at our list of home care agencies currently offering support at home in Westminster, or Kensington and Chelsea, and contact them to see what they provide.
Using the Care Quality Commission website
Home care agencies are run by a variety of organisations, including private firms, charities and voluntary sector organisations, and local councils. They are registered and regulated in England by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). The CQC visits them regularly and writes a report about the agency which you can see on its website; this report will tell you what the agency does well, and about any areas where they need to improve their standards.
You can use the Care Quality Commission (CQC) website to search for home care agencies in your area, to see what types of support they offer, and to see if they have an up-to-date and good inspection report.
The CQC have produced a leaflet about the standard of care you should expect in your home. Click here to download the leaflet.
Using the NHS website
The NHS website also allows you to search for home care agencies in your area, to see what other people have said about them, and to rate them yourself based on your experiences.
The At Home Service from Age UK
The At Home Service from Age UK offers a range of personally tailored packages of care and support for older people in the Kensington and Chelsea, and Westminster areas.