When the need arises for you or your loved one to look for care, it can sometimes be difficult knowing where to start. There are many different types of home care, and many different care providers, and you want to be absolutely certain that you choose a care partner who will be able to support you in every way you need, whatever your condition and whatever your circumstances.

Whether you need visiting care for 30 minutes a week or a live-in carer who provides round-the-clock support, they’ll work with you to make sure you’re receiving all the assistance you need to maintain your independence.

Here is our quick 5-step guide on how to ensure your hiring the best carer for your needs.

 1. Deciding on your needs
 2. Taking a care assessment
 3. Working out your budget
 4. Carer checks and allocation
 5. The right questions

1. Deciding on your needs

The first step to take when searching for a private carer is to assess your own personal needs. It might be that you’re looking for someone to give you a hand with things like housework, mobility, running errands and sorting medication, or you may require full-time support from a live-in arer who can provide you with companionship and monitor your needs at all times.

Once you’ve established the areas in which you need help, you need to find an expert care provider who is able to provide you with a care plan that meets your needs and is flexible around your specific requirements.


2. Taking a care assessment

Taking a care assessment is an important step in finding the right carer for you. Your care needs will be assessed in order to highlight the areas in which you particularly need extra help. Examples of things that might be evaluated include any physical difficulties you’re experiencing, your emotional and social support system, your home environment and its suitability for home care, your personal preferences regarding what you’re looking for in a carer, and your cultural and religious background.

With your consent, your GP will be contacted in order to determine your medical needs. This ensures everyone is on the same page when it comes to providing the best possible care for you.


3. Working out your budget

Working out your budget is an essential step to take when considering your care options. It’s important that you look at your income, savings and property to calculate how much you can budget towards care each week. Depending on your personal circumstances, you may be eligible for public funding or benefits – it’s always worth investigating your funding options.


4. Carer checks and allocation

When you use a carer, you’re placing a great deal of trust in their character, ability and judgement. When you’re choosing a care provider, it’s essential to ensure that their carers are all carefully recruited, DBS checked and given thorough training that covers every facet of care.

We recommend you meet in a public place or ensure that you have someone with you at the first meeting with a potential carer. Do not share your details with them until you feel confident in the carer and wish to proceed.

Another thing you might need to consider is have they got good credible references. Your carer should be able to provide references from previous employers, customers, character references and/or from voluntary work. It’s worth checking these, you may like to speak to them directly. Your potential carer should be able to arrange this.


5. The right questions

We’ve put together a set of suggested questions and you may like to think about the following:-

You may consider three areas – knowledge, skills and attributes.

What is their experience of caring? What have they done in previous roles? 
To get to the bottom of this you might like to ask, what they have done in the past that relates to what you will need them to do.

In other words, avoid hypothetical questions such as “what would you do if x happened?” Try instead, what have you done when x happened? If they haven’t got an example ask them to talk you through some of the challenges they have faced and explain how they have dealt with them.

Do they have any particular skills that you are looking for? For example, manual handling and lifting, food prepartion, risk assessment or it could be particular skills relating to an illness such as Alzhemiers, or Parkinson’s disease. Ask them to describe their experiences with questions like, “describe your experience of x”. 

This is a less ‘tanglible’ area, how do you knwo that you will get on with this person? Or how will you know that your loved one will like them and feel comfortable with them. If you think about what is important to you then that’s a good place to start. For example, we tend to look for the following attributes in a carer.

  • Responsible
  • Caring
  • Compassionate
  • Respectful
  • Patient
  • Understanding
  • Sensitive
  • Flexible

A way of establishing whether they have any of these attributes to ask them how they have demonstrated some of these attributes, how have they ensured that their client has been treated with dignity, respect and understanding?

Examples are key evidence and will demonstrate what previous experience they have that is relavant. Ask them to describe their experiences and you are more likely to get  rounded view of what the carer can do for you or your loved one. 

A useful technique is using little TED – tell me, explain and describe. Start your questions with this and you are more likely to recieve a considered and useful response. Open questions are useful in gaining information who, what, why, when, where and how. 


Do they understand the role of car? What do they know about being professional and ensuring the safety and audit trail of their actions, for example do they have a contract, care plan, daily diary and consideration of risks? 


If you would like Independent Carers to interview a prospective carer for you and produce a report of our findings then we can perform this service for £75 per carer.  The final decision to engage will rest with you. We will interview the carer using set criteria which we will make bespoke to your needs and share with you. 

Please contact us if you require this service.