Finding a carer is usually a frustrating experience. It’s not easy to find someone with the right skills and personality in your local area.
Luckily, there are some websites that could help make the process easier, which I’ve listed below.
Some people use care agencies to find carers, but this can be expensive. Others, like myself, employ carers directly and use money from the local council and personal budgets to pay for them.
Some of these websites are a listings service where you can search for and post adverts for carers in your local area. Others are an introductory service where you tell them your needs and they find a selection of possible carers for you to choose from. Some may be better than others, but I think they are all worth looking at.
This site allows you to search for all types of carers, such as childcare, housekeepers, pet carers, carers for the elderly, and special needs carers. So it’s not specifically aimed at carers of people with disabilities. Nevertheless, you might find some people worth looking at. I signed up out of curiosity and searched for carers in my local area, and it said there were only 8. Not great for the second largest county in England. You can post job adverts if you are looking for a carer, or carers can advertise their services. Plus you can message carers, view their profiles, qualifications, and documents. However, you need to sign up and pay to contact people. It costs £35 for one month, £75 for three months, or £140 for 12 months.
2. Care Pair
Care Pair was created by a guy with Muscular Dystrophy and it works kind of like a dating website. It aims to match up disabled people and carers based on their personality and interests. Users fill out the form detailing what support they need, the hours they need it, their likes and dislikes, the preferred type of carer and other stuff. Carers can also fill out a similar survey and the website then matches up carers and clients based on their compatibility with each other. I think it sounds a great way to find carers that you have common interests with. This is important for striking up a friendship.
Find a carer.com allows people to search for carers in their local area, and also carers and care agencies can advertise their services on the site. It’s free for carers to advertise their services and to contact care users. However, there is a charge for advertising for a carer, to view full carer details and to contact carers. I’m not sure why carers don’t get charged and care users do, but there we go. To get full access you can pay £10 for one week, £15 for two weeks, or £25 for a month. I tried a search for carers near my postcode and, there seemed to be quite a few but the nearest one was 28 miles away. I couldn’t look at the details for any of the carers without paying and I didn’t really want to do that.
This is a small family run website based in Reading. It is basically a site to post adverts for home care or for carers to advertise their services. It’s completely free to advertise and contact carers and you only have to pay £25 once a placement is agreed with a carer.
5. Home Touch
This is a more professional looking site than Simple Needs. It was founded by a former NHS doctor, and apparently is “the U.K.’s most trusted online home care service”. You can search for carers, view their profiles and message them. I tried searching for carers in Lincolnshire and only one came up, which is not great. Again, there are obviously not enough carers using this site, probably because they are not aware that it exists. Even in London there were only 45 results, which is amazing considering it’s a city of 8 million people. Their carers go through a “five stage vetting procedure” and they constantly review their performance to maintain quality standards.
6. Super Carers
This site helps you find a carer by telling them about your needs, schedule and preferred skills. They will then find you some possible carers who you can then message or meet with. Like Home Touch this site has a very professional vibe, and they say that they only employ carers who have passed their rigourous vetting procedure. The carers can set their own rates of pay as they are all self-employed, but on average they charge about £14 per hour. The site itself seems to be free to use.
7. PA Pool
This is an introduction website founded by a woman with spinal muscular atrophy. You can advertise and search for PAs, and PAs can also advertise their services. Signing up and searching the site is free, but to contact a PA you have to subscribe. You can subscribe for different lengths of time ranging from 3 days to one year, then you will be able to contact PAs as much as you like until your subscription expires.
Sites for Information
This is very useful site that aims to provide help and support to people seeking care. It also contains lots of information for carers and for people who need care support. There is information to help you work out whether you are eligible for care funding and how to get it from your local authority; understanding personal budgets; a list of tools for getting care and support; your choices for care and support, and much more. There is also a register of paid carers who are available to work. It’s definitely worth checking out.
This is a not-for-profit organisation that aims to provide information and support about live-in care. Their website provides a lot of information about the pros and cons of live-in care as well as how to go about getting it. They have an interactive map that shows the providers of live-in care all across the UK, so you can find a provider near you.
I hope you find the above websites helpful in trying to find a carer. Personally I think they can potentially be a very useful tool. However, I noticed that some of them didn’t list many carers in my local area, possibly because there were a limited number of people using them. So, obviously it would be a lot better if as many carers and service users joined the sites as possible. So please share this post so that we can help raise awareness of these websites, as I’m not sure how many carers or service users are aware that they exist. I hope that they will help to make the process of finding a carer a little easier.