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How to hire a Support Worker: Arranging your own care

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Many people decide to hire a support worker or carer to make life a little easier and ensure you can live as independently as possible in your own home. It can also be a respite for friends and family who had previously been carrying out caring responsibilities and means you can go back to simply spending quality time together.

But whilst a support worker or personal assistant is a huge help, it can be overwhelming knowing where to start looking for one. You want someone trustworthy and discreet who is going to slot seamlessly into your routine, boost your quality of life and have a positive effect on your wellbeing and self-esteem.

For anyone looking to hire a carer, there are a number of options available. Using a home care agency like Safehands, can help streamline the hiring process as well as taking care of admin tasks and payment plans. Our team work with you to understand your requirements and preferences, to match you with a carer that’s right for you.

What can a carer or personal assistant do for me?

The role of a carer or personal assistant can be entirely shaped by you, and what you need extra help with. You can also help to shape their schedule and the hours you spend together so that it fits within your personal budget. There might be areas of your day or routine that you are struggling with, or simply areas that you think would improve your quality of life to have some extra assistance with.

Tasks that a carer or personal assistant commonly carry out include:

  •   Personal care, such as washing, getting dressed in the morning or ready for bed at night.
  •   Daily activities such as cleaning teeth, shaving, applying make-up, and maintaining hygiene
  •   Shopping and preparing meals
  •   Bathing and showering, including bed baths
  •   Assistance using the bathroom or toilet, or maintaining a stoma or catheter bag
  •   Assistance with your medication, and applying any creams for skincare and foot care
  •   Providing rest and respite for family and loved ones who also care for you

Alternatively if you might not have complex care needs but some require some assistance or company – perhaps to combat loneliness or isolation, or to offer support during journeys and holidays – then companionship care might be a good fit for you.  

What responsibilities do I have when employing a support worker or carer?

If you are looking to hire a support worker independently without the help of a care agency, it’s important that your care worker feels safe and protected when they are employed by you. There are also key documents that should be provided and laws that must be adhered to:

  • An employment contract outlining their job title, working hours, salary and holiday entitlement, as well as their sickness and pension policies and their notice period. You might want to include a code of conduct guide if you have very specific requirements.  
  • Ensure you are abiding by employment laws such as the number of hours they work in any week and that they have regular breaks throughout the day.  
  • You must pay your carer or support worker at least National Minimum Wage, as well as abide by workplace rights such as statutory maternity pay, sick pay, redundancy pay and holiday pay. It is also your responsibility to deduct tax and National Insurance on payments that come under PAYE.
  • You will need employers’ liability insurance to protect both you and the carer from accidents and injury.

How do I find a support worker I can trust?

Like any profession, most carers go into this job because they have a genuine desire to help people and make a difference to someone’s daily life. But a support worker isn’t required to be registered so it’s important that checks are carried out to ensure they are reputable and trustworthy. This is another advantage of using a home care agency like Safehands. All our carers are vetted before they work, ensuring all the relevant certificates and qualifications are legitimate and have been obtained.

If you are hiring a carer privately always ask to see the certificates for any qualifications the carer shares with you. You should also run security checks of your own, checking to see if they have a criminal record by doing a DBS check (Disclosure and Barring Service). Ask to see references from past employers and try to speak to them yourself to see if they were happy with the service they received.

What are the advantages of using a home care agency?

There are a lot of decisions to make and paperwork to prepare when hiring a support worker and arranging your own care, so many people opt for using a home care agency like Safehands Healthcare. Our team is built on the experiences of former health care and support workers, with first hand experience qualifying carers for personal assignments. We have an established network of fully vetted carers across the UK, and are able to draw on years of healthcare industry experience to advise on what level of care you might want and need.

Safehands’ carers are also trained to spot changes in your general health, and discreetly adjust responsibilities to ensure you are always living as independently as possible. If there is a change in your health and capabilities, we are also able to speak to you or your loved ones about alternative care options such as live-in care. By using Safehands you can rest assured that you always have a team that are dedicated to helping you whenever you need it. Our support team are there to help with any queries or concerns you might have and our support workers are trusted healthcare professionals.

If you would like to find out more information about hiring a support worker, please call our care team now on 01242 505415 or send an enquiry using our contact form. One of our care advisors will be happy to discuss care options with you, from levels of support to funding care and more.

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