When you have a loved one who is old, disabled or unfit in some way, and you are not always there to look after him / her, you would need to contact a home care agency for that purpose. Here are 10 tips to help you choose the best home care agency.
As a responsible person who is concerned about the well being of your loved one, you would like to get prompt updates from the home care service provider. The agency should immediately contact you if there are any changes in the health of your dear one. Based on such changes, they should also be able to make the changes necessary to your senior’s care plan.
Find out how the agency chooses and trains and protects its workers. Does it have malpractice insurance, benefits packages and written personnel policies to protect its workers? Ask this question directly.
Try to know how the agency assigns supervisors to check the quality of care that patients get in their own homes. How often do supervisors make visits? Who should you call for complaints or questions? Does the company follow up on issues, and resolve them promptly?
You have to find out whether therapists or nurses are needed for the evaluation of the home care requirements of patients. If that is the case, what does it include? Does the agency consult the family members and doctors of patients?
In case your loved one feels agitated now and then, you might need a strong-willed person who will not back down from challenging situations. You will like one who is caring and nurturing and loves to work with senior citizens.
You have to ask about the processes used by the provider to deal with emergencies. Are the caregivers available 24/7? This is important, as you will not like your senior loved one to face even a moment’s delay in getting the best treatment.
Make sure that the provider ensures confidentiality of patients, and keeps their identity a secret. In case you have a loved one who is suffering from AIDS or some other disease to which some type of social stigma is associated, you would like to make sure that the agency or its caregivers do not reveal such information to outsiders.
Check whether the provider guides family members of patients about the type of care that is being administered to them.
Find out whether the agency would document the course of treatment for your loved one, and detail all the tasks that the caregiver has to carry out.
Know whether the agency offers written statements that explain all the payment plan options and costs related to home care.