As our parents or loved ones get older and require a little more care, it’s only natural to worry about the best choice for their lifestyle and happiness to accommodate for their changing needs.

Joshua Krygier, director of domiciliary care company Rivendell in North London, saw first-hand how high-quality care had a positive impact on his grandfather's quality of life.

“I started Rivendell Care after witnessing the outstanding care that my grandfather received in the latter years of his life, during his experience with dementia. Naturally, he became closed off and reserved, particularly around new or unfamiliar people,” says Joshua.

“When visiting him, I saw the interaction between him and his carers, laughing, joking and being completely at ease with them. I was so moved by this and wanted to recreate this experience for more people in care.”

Below, Joshua answers some of the most commonly asked questions by those considering care for their family member.

Ham & High: Rivendell's carers support their patients with daily cleaning and errands to maintain the upkeep of their home.Rivendell's carers support their patients with daily cleaning and errands to maintain the upkeep of their home. (Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Q: What’s the difference between home care and a care home?

A: Home care allows the person to remain in the comfort of their own home, with the flexibility to choose their own food and mealtimes. They can also maintain their lifestyle, including having pets and visitors at their leisure without arranging an appointment, as would be required in a care home.

Home care also provides one-to-one support, unlike a care home, which often has a member of staff assigned to multiple residents.

In a care home, residents can enjoy the social aspect of living in a community. However, it means moving into an unfamiliar setting, arranging for any pets to be rehomed and having less choice over mealtimes and food.

When receiving care at home there is a more personal level of care in a one-to-one setting (or one carer per couple). In a care home, however, there is often one carer for a few residents which results in the carer not being able to provide the same level of attention.

Q: How can I choose the safest care option for my loved one?

A: Checking to see if a care service is CQC regulated (Care Quality Commission) is an important stage of due diligence as well as looking at online reviews and asking for a reference from clients.

Rivendell is regulated by the CQC and is accountable to deliver high standards of care. We conduct regular spot checks, appraisals and supervisions of our carers to ensure they are performing to CQC standards.

When recruiting, we like to use the ‘grandpa test’ - if I am not certain that I would let a carer look after my grandfather, then they aren’t a good fit for the company.

It’s important for us to employ people who have a passion for care. During the recruitment process, we conduct a thorough two-part interview which explores both the knowledge and technical side of the role, as well as asking a variety of situation-based questions. Candidates will then attend in-house training as well as undergoing an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check and reference checks, before they are eventually hired.

Ham & High: Rivendell run regular spot checks, appraisals and supervisions of their carers to ensure they are performing to the highest standard.Rivendell run regular spot checks, appraisals and supervisions of their carers to ensure they are performing to the highest standard. (Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Each of our clients will have a risk assessment performed by a manager too, so their care can be tailored to their specific requirements and home setting, ensuring they are as comfortable and safe as possible.

Q: What are the benefits of a tailor-made care plan for my loved one?

A: A good care plan will complement and document the lifestyle of the individual, instead of disrupting their routine. Upon assessment, we will create a bespoke care plan which suits the requirements and preferences of your loved one, taking into account their lifestyle, religious or cultural beliefs, likes and dislikes, as well as their personal and medical history.

Each plan is unique and will also depend on their mobility and health requirements. This allows them to enjoy their independence for as long as possible so they can live life to the fullest.

Q: Is home care more expensive than a care home?

A: This depends on the level of support. Having visiting care centred around routine is a more affordable alternative than moving into a care home. Live-in care is a similar price to a care home.

If a person needs the carer to be awake and provide service throughout the night then they will require 24-hour care, which will often be more expensive than living in a care home. Although a care home will usually charge a cost per bed, and so if you are in a couple, 24-hour care can be more affordable.

It’s worth weighing up the importance of your loved one being at home. If uprooting their life is going to have detrimental impact on them, you may want to consider home care to maintain their surroundings and minimise any distress or discomfort.

Ham & High: Opting for home care can be a more affordable option for couples, than paying for individual care home beds.Opting for home care can be a more affordable option for couples, than paying for individual care home beds. (Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Q: What’s the difference between nursing care and domiciliary care?

A: Nursing care is more suited to those who require a medically-trained professional to accommodate for more complex health conditions. The focus of this type of care is to provide medical-based support rather than care based on a person’s lifestyle and day-to-day routine.

Domiciliary care involves providing personal care, as well as helping out with domestic chores, attending appointments, shopping and going on days out in the local area.

Q: What should I consider when choosing a home care option for my loved one?

A: For home care services, it’s important to consider whether the company provides ‘managed care’. At Rivendell, we are liable and responsible for ensuring an assigned carer shows up for their shift, as well as covering illness and holiday on behalf of the client.

Introductory care service providers are not regulated by the CQC. They use staff who are self-employed, and so if a carer is unwell or cannot attend for any reason, no cover will be arranged. Choosing an agency takes the pressure off families and provides peace of mind that their loved one will always be cared for and looked after, no matter the circumstances.

A local company can also make a huge difference in providing tailored care. The carers will not only be more accessible if they are required, but they will also have connections to the local authority, social services and doctors, as well as being more familiar with the local surroundings when taking people to appointments or the shops.

For more information on the care services provided at Rivendell Care, visit For enquiries, contact 02084347380 or