In-home care is a logical option for seniors who wish to age in the comfort of their own home. Luckily, the home care industry is constantly growing, providing an endless amount of options. But the challenge lies in choosing the agency that works best for you.
We’ve put together a simple guide of the basic steps to take before choosing a home care agency. In addition to our steps, be sure to do your own research and ask the agency about any other questions you may have.
Before Choosing a Home Care Agency:
- Determine your loved one’s needs
Home care agencies provide a multitude of services including companion care, hygiene care, housekeeping, ambulation exercise, and more, plus additional specialty services for those living with a debilitating disease. It’s important to assess the senior’s individual needs to determine which services they will need. If you’re unsure of which services to select, take advantage of the initial assessment that home care agencies provide. This will allow the agency to narrow down the services and set up a personalized care plan for you.
- Make sure the home care agency meets important qualifications
Always do your research. You will want to look for an agency that has a positive online reviews and an established digital presence. Also be sure to take the extra step to verify that the agency is licensed by the state, fully insured and bonded, employs caregivers – does not contract with them, and thoroughly screens caregivers. You can verify these things through your research and by asking the agency directly.
- Learn more about the caregivers (background checks/experience, training, etc)
Don’t worry about being overly picky when it comes to choosing a caregiver. Good home care agencies want to give you peace of mind through the whole process. It’s important to ask the agency what methods they use to background check their caregiver and what specific type of training the caregivers receive.
Additionally, once you choose an agency, ask if you are able to meet the caregiver prior to their first shift. This will give you and your loved one a chance to assess if they’re a good match.
- Plan out your billing in advance
Learn about the rate for services and how their billing works ahead of time, so you can stay informed throughout the entire process. Also make sure to receive financial help if you are unable to afford in home care. Some agencies, such as In Home Personal Services, work with Long Term Care Insurance and veterans benefits. Plan ahead to avoid the added stress of money issues.
Other Questions to ask a Home Care Agency:
- What is the cost of your in-home care and how does your billing work?
- Is there a minimum number of hours that must be committed to?
- Can the hours be adjusted as needed?
- Do your services line up with what I need?
- How would issues and concerns be addressed?
- What type of supervision is set up for caregivers?
- Are your caregivers insured and bonded?
- How are your caregivers matched with each case?
- Will we have the same caregiver every time?