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“Our mother looked upon her home help as a friend, and it was a great comfort to us to know that her regular visits gave Mum a familiar face on four days a week, thereby relieving a little of the pressure upon us in supporting Mum so she could continue to live in her own home.”

Our friendly Home Help team support older people with a range of services from housework and shopping to companionship, both in and outside the home.

The services aim to help you stay independent in your own home.

Call us on 01473 357070 or E-mail: home.help@ageuksuffolk.org

 

Our team are available to take calls Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.

Home Help & CompanionshipOur Home Help Service provides:

• A professional service helping you with all aspects of general housework, food preparation and laundry.

• Collection of your weekly shopping from your preferred supermarket.

• Regular companionship giving carers time for themselves.

• Assistance outside your home to shop or just get out and about.

 

Why choose Age UK Suffolk ?

• Our Never Walk Away safety policy ensures that staff will not leave until they know the client is safe.

• We aim to offer the same staff  & regular time slot except when covering holiday or sickness.

• Fully trained staff and continual monitoring of service quality.

• Bespoke service based on your personal needs.

• We are a trusted and recognised organisation with over 70 years of improving the lives of older people across Suffolk.

We pride ourselves on delivering high cleaning standards with the personal touch. Our service helps clients remain independent and enables them to stay in their own home.

All our staff are fully trained, are fully covered by our public liability insurance and police checked via the Disclosure and Barring Service.  All of our staff are Dementia Friends.

 

Cost of the service:

• £30 one-off administration fee which covers your initial assessment.

• £16.50 per hour in the home and £17.50 per hour outdoor companionship

• 40p per mile is charged to clients for petrol used for shopping or outings.

The minimum chargeable period is 2 hours, thereafter time is charged in 15 minute blocks.

Services operate weekdays throughout Suffolk.

 

Never Walk Away safety policy

If one of our clients is in difficulty, or fails to answer the door, our fully trained Home Help staff will follow a pre-agreed emergency plan and will not leave until we are assured the client is safe

 

Frequently asked questions 

Our Home Help Team answer some of the most often asked questions about the Home Help and Companionship Service. If you can't find the answer to your question here, please get in touch.

Who will clean my home?

Your home will be cleaned by a member of our friendly, dedicated Home Help team.  For security and your peace of mind, our Home Helps are trained, will always carry identification, are fully covered by our public liability insurance and police checked via the Disclosure and Barring Service.   

What will happen after my initial enquiry?

Following your initial enquiry, if you are interested in the service the next step is to arrange a home visit.  We will discuss your requirements and complete a task list at this visit that is specific to you so that your Home Help will be clear on the tasks you would like completed and your expectations.  The task list can be adjusted at any point by prior agreement to suit your needs.

What will a Home Help do in my home?

Our cleaning service could include removing cobwebs, dusting skirting boards, pictures, lampshades, internal windows and window sills, furniture and vacuuming throughout.  We also wash floors and thoroughly clean kitchens and bathrooms.  We can offer accompanied shopping or collect the weekly shopping/prescriptions for you (mileage is payable by client on shopping trips where Home Help is using their own vehicle).  

What if I want help outside my home?

We can accompany you to many places, for example a walk to a park or club, on public transport to one-off or regular events, to doctor's appointments or leisure activities. This list is not exhaustive so please contact us to see if we can accommodate your request.

What times are the Home Help Service available?

We work Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm and make every effort to meet customer preferences. Please note that the service is not available on a Bank Holiday.

What is the cost of the service and how do I pay?

There is a £30 one-off administration fee, then £16.50 per hour in the home and £17.50 per hour outdoor companionship and 40p per mile is charged for petrol used for shopping or outings. The minimum chargeable period is 2 hours per week, thereafter time is charged in 15 minute blocks. We prefer Direct Debit but can accept card payments taken over the telephone and BACS payments.  We do not accept cash payments, this is for staff and client safety.  

Do I have to sign up to a contract that commits me to the service for a set period of time?

You are under no obligation to stay with us for a minimum amount of time. We provide a regular weekly service and we would prefer to earn your continued loyalty based on our ability to meet your needs than rely on a contractual relationship. However, we do ask for 14 days notice if you no longer require the service. We look to you to provide a candid review of our service and your feedback is welcomed on a regular basis. 

What is your “Never Walk Away” policy?

Our unique “Never Walk Away” policy is a pre-agreed emergency plan that we follow if one of our clients fails to answer the door. This means that we will not leave until we know the whereabouts of the client and could involve contacting next of kin, hospitals and in some cases the police.  This policy provides reassurance to clients and families. 

Will I have the same Home Help each visit?

We value the importance of having a regular Home Help and understand that many people do not want lots of different people coming to their home. You will have the same Home Help each week for cleaning, shopping or sitting, as this helps to build a friendly yet professional relationship which in turn can help to combat loneliness and social isolation.  However, if your Home Help is on holiday or unwell, we will make every effort to provide a replacement Home Help to provide continuity of the service to you where possible.  

What if my scheduled Home Help Service falls on a statutory holiday?

You will be asked if you would like the service on an alternative day in the week and we will make every effort to reschedule your appointment for another day and time, in some cases this may be with an different member of our team.   

Do I need to provide any cleaning equipment or supplies?

As part of the assessment agreement, it is our customer’s responsibility to provide all cleaning products and equipment. All electrical equipment must be in good working order. All our Home Helps are provided with disposable gloves and aprons which should be used to complete tasks. 

Can you hold the keys to my house?

We do not hold keys however we can collect keys from a neighbour or use a key safe for access if required. Your key safe number is kept secure as we take your security very seriously. 

Can you clean my home when I am not there?

Yes, with prior agreement. We have a procedure in place to safeguard all clients and Home Help workers which you will be made aware of before the Home Help can do this. 

Do I have to do anything before my Home Help arrives?

It is not necessary to do anything however if you have requested shopping then it is helpful to have your list and money ready for when the Home Help arrives. 

What if I want to arrange any special cleaning requests, cancel my appointment or need to change the day or time of my visit?

Please give the office a call, ideally providing them with at least 48 hours notice as staff will need to inform your Home Help worker of the cancellation or rearrange your visit with them.  Special cleaning requests will need to be agreed before the Home Help can undertake them, this would be anything that has not been pre-agreed on the task list at the initial home visit. In the event that we have not been notified and the Home Help worker attends your home for the pre-arranged visit, we would follow our “Never Walk Away” emergency procedure to ensure your safety and whereabouts before leaving.  This is known as an aborted visit for which you will be charged. 

What if something gets broken when my home is cleaned?

We treat your home with the utmost care but accidents can happen. Accidents should be claimed for under client’s home insurance. Any breakages would be investigated by Age UK Suffolk.

Can a Home Help cook my lunch or make me a sandwich, help me with personal care or medication?

Home Helps are not able to provide personal care or administer medication but we do offer a food preparation service. 

If I am not happy with my service what should I do?

If your Home Help is not doing a task quite as you would like we encourage you to speak to them directly, as often this is easily resolved and our Home Helps aim to complete tasks to your expectations.  However if you feel unable to do this or have another issue with the service please contact our Home Help Team who will assist you in finding a solution.  

Who do I speak to if I have a general enquiry, compliment, complaint or any other comments on the service?

The Home Help Team will be able to answer your general queries on the service.  The direct number for them is 01473 357070 or e-mail on home.service@ageuksuffolk.org

If you would like to write to the Home Help Team, the postal address is Age UK Suffolk, Home Service Team, 14 Hill View Business Park, Old Ipswich Road ,Claydon, Ipswich, Suffolk IP6 0AJ.  

We encourage our customers to communicate any comments to us as your feedback will help us to help you in delivering a quality service to be proud of.  We listen to our customers and value every single one, we want you to feel we care about you, that you can trust us and that we are committed to providing you with the best service we can.

Customer Care Promise

Age UK Suffolk has over 70 years experience of offering help and support to older people across Suffolk and we aim to deliver the very best service.

To help us make sure we meet your high expectations, we operate a Customer Care Promise. This promise sets out what you can expect from us and how we will deal with any problems that might arise.

To help us achieve these high standards we will:

  • Always listen to you and to make sure that the service we are providing adequately meets your needs.
  • Ensure our Home Help staff carry an identification card.
  • Ensure Home Helps are provided with and use disposable aprons and gloves when required in accordance with health and safety guidelines.
  • We will contact you from time to time to make sure our service meets your expectations.

We want you to trust us and know that we are committed to providing you with the best service we can. We encourage your feedback to help us in delivering a quality service to be proud of.

We want to value you as a person and will treat you with respect, dignity, honesty and courtesy.

If you have any questions about our Customer Care Promise, please contact us on 01473 357070.

Call us on 01473 357070