If you are considering hiring a home care agency for an elderly parent or a partner recovering from an illness, surgery or ill health, there is a lot to consider. First, you will be letting strangers into your home so it’s important to go through a well-known agency. Regardless of who you choose, you should get – and check – references. One reference isn’t enough. Get several references and take time to check all of them. Here are five other questions to ask of a potential home care provider:
Is your home care firm locally owned and operated or a national franchise?
The quality of home care providers can vary widely. Some local licensees of national franchises are very good. Likewise, some “under perform.” The quality of locally owned and operated home care providers can vary as well. Thus it’s important to do your homework and check how long they have been in business in your community, what reputation they have with former clients and caregivers. While a website will provide part of the story, in person meetings with a potential home care firm are invaluable – as are the references already mentioned.
Are your firm and caregivers licensed, bonded and insured?
Another important way to verify the qualify a home care firm is to make sure they are licensed, bonded and insurance, and their employees have workers’ compensation and general liability insurance. A reputable firm will cover the company and their caregivers against any issue that might arise.
How do you select your caregivers?
This gets back to the all-important trust issue. These people will be coming into your home or that of your parent(s). They’ve got to be qualified and trustworthy. Ask if the caregivers are employees or contract workers. Ask what background checks are performed. Also ask what kind of training and supervision are provided. Do not be afraid to ask lots of questions about the caregivers!!
How do you ensure a good “fit” between clients and caregivers?
In-home caregivers provide very personal services and thus it’s important that the caregiver and client get along. Agencies should spend time making sure the skills and personality of the caregiver match the client’s personality, condition and expectations. A good home are company will evaluate the relationship from time to time to ensure that “good fit” continues.
What is the cost of your services?
Medicare or private insurance cover many aspects of home care. Make sure you provide, in writing, the services you and your loved one requires and get the cost upfront. Realize that if the services required changes, the cost will naturally be adjusted. The best advice is to know going in what services are covered by Medicare or insurance and what you must pay.
You probably have many questions you’d like to ask when interviewing a home care company. Home Health Solutions Group a locally owned and operated home care company that is licensed, accedited and insured, encourages a face-to-face initial consultation to discuss your care needs and expectations, questions and costs. We develop a care plan for your loved one and then find the best match of skills and temperament in your caregiver. We continuously assess the care plan and caregiver to ensure you and your loved one are satisfied. Please contact us to schedule a free consultation.