Domiciliary care for dementia sufferers

For issues specific to caring for someone with dementia.
Hi

I'm new to the site and looking for some advice on domiciliary care for my mother who was diagnosed with vascular dementia 6 years ago.

Luckily, her decline has been slow and she is still able to live at home relatively unaided (she is widowed). I usually sleepover a couple of days a week and sometimes have her stay with me over the weekend. However, both my sister and I work full time and are unable to give her 24 hour assistance.

Going forward, we will need more support to help us look after her, at least until her condition deteriorates to such a degree where we may need to place her in a care home. However, I'm hoping that this will not be necessary and that she can continue to enjoy her life in the comforts of her own home until she passes.

I would be interested in hearing from anyone who has had experience of domiciliary care. What should we look out for, what are the pros and cons and how can we ensure that the care provider is going to be trustworthy and reliable?

Many thanks

Graziella
The safest would be to hire someone in from a care agency - that takes care of things like criminal records checks, insurance (the carer needs to be insured against things happening to her, and by her!).

My friend does this for short periods when she needs a holiday - the cost is high, around £130 a day, plus you provide food.

Hiring someone directly yourself is more complicated - think employment law (sick leave, national insurance etc etc).

So far as I know, if your caree is self-funding, you can do whatever you like. But if she has savings/assets less than £23500 she should be entitled to 'free' care by the SS/Council, BUT, I dont' think domiciliary care is an option - only pop in carers and residential care.
Start by asking Social Services to do a Needs Assessment, and a Carers Assessment for you. Ask for this to be face to face so you don't get a form, but a person to talk to.
Jenny's right. I do agree that the safest thing to do would be to hire someone from a care agency to ensure that the person being hired has no criminal records etc.
Hi Graziella
When you are going through the care plan (assuming you are self funding?) you need to spell it out -be specific and make sure everything is recorded . Do not be fobbed off- there are some very lazy agency staff and in general terms the more you pay the better the company. If you have the choice make sure they stay the alloted time and that you are giving them enough jobs to fill the time. There is no point lobbing out nearly 30.00 for an hour visit on a Sunday so someone just comes in and does the washing up for ten minutes.
Think of a list of thinks you want to do least yourself- it might be hhovering, ironing, cleaning the floor, peeling the veg- whatever you don't want to be doing yourself one day. Always give them more jobs to fill the spare time, perhaps draw up a rota of different jobs for different days.

Best to offer a key box for security, will they be giving medications? You need to check the MAR chart is completely acurately and complain immediately anything goes wrong. Nag , nag and nag- in a friendly way to start with , no point getting backs up