Important Questions to Ask your Home Care Agency

Important Questions to Ask your Home Care Agency

Important Questions to Ask your Home Care Agency

In-home care services help seniors maintain independence while allowing them to stay in the comfort of their own home. Hiring an in-home care professional is a big decision. You want nothing but the best for your loved one and there are a lot of questions that need to be asked. If you believe that your elderly loved one should seriously consider receiving home health care services, here are a few important questions you should ask your in-home care provider.

Are your professional caregivers employees or contract workers?
Knowing whether or not the in-home care professional is an employee or contracted out by another service is important. If they are contact workers, be sure to get a full understanding of how they operate. Do they get time off or vacation? Who do they report to? How will they be paid?

Can you or the agency provide proof the caregivers are insured and bonded?
It is important to require them to provide background checks as well. You want to be sure your loved one is under the best care and a well-trained professional is the best way to go. If you are only needing in-home help for some of the day-to-day duties, you may not think you need to hire someone with much experience. However, most states do require training and an experienced caregiver can better keep your loved ones safe at home. Many agencies are bonded, but it is important to know. This will help insure your belongings if there is a theft due to an employee of theirs. Also, another helpful tip is to be sure they provide the most recent vaccinations and medical screenings.

Will we have the same caregiver throughout the plan or will there be multiple people assigned?
Most people want to have the same caregiver throughout the allotted time. Seniors are more comfortable when they know and bond with their in-home professional. Be sure to ask about the turnover rate. Also, make sure you are able to meet them prior to receiving services. You need to be sure that they are a good fit for your loved one and your home. Don’t be afraid to ask if there is a free in-home visit.

What are all the costs linked to an in-home care program?
Before you sign on the dotted line, be sure you have a full understanding as to how billing and health insurance works and is paid. Know what services you will be receiving and what you expect from your in-home care provider. Ask to see if there are any hidden fees. You will want them to provide you a written plan or contract with all services and fees in black and white before you sign.

How do you supervise your caregivers?
Do they do in-home inspections or periodic visits? This is important. This shows the agency or supervisor cares to be sure the in-home professional is doing the best job possible. It also allows seniors or yourself to ask questions or voice concerns. Also, be sure to ask how they track the time the caregiver is in the home.

Does the company have nurses on staff?
While caregivers are often assisting with non-medical tasks, it’s important to know if the company has a nurse on staff to assist the caregiver and your loved one in the likely scenario that your loved one has an incident that requires clinical judgment. A nurse is also very helpful if the caregiver observes a change in behavior that could indicate the likely occurrence of a preventable hospitalization.

Are nurses responsible for evaluating the home care needs of your loved one?
If the working professionals who are coming into the home aren’t consulting with their patients’ doctors and other medical professionals, they will not know what solutions and methods work best for that particular patient. You wouldn’t want your elderly parent or loved one to be cared for by someone who doesn’t take doctor recommendations or other important information into account.

Does the home care provider have a “Patient Bill of Rights”?
Making sure that the organization you’re working with has some sort of literature explaining the services they offer is essential before making any decision. You should go over all the rights and responsibilities the providers will have and check to make sure they are keeping up on all the latest elderly care educational materials.

What kind of experience does the home care provider have?
It’s important to ask exactly how long the agency has been providing elderly assistance and use this information in your decision. You and your elderly loved one might not be comfortable choosing a company that has only been in business for a few months. You want the best possible service for your loved one and they certainly deserve as much.

Will the family and/or client be involved in developing the care plan?
This is another important question that should be asked before anything is signed. Some providers work hand in hand with the family and client to develop a personalized care plan, which is best. And some companies just do what they know, which could provide some complications, as everyone has varying needs.

Do you offer a transportation plan?
If you and your spouse are working throughout the day, there probably isn’t a way for your loved one to get to and from their doctor appointments. In fact, 40% of senior patients miss their appointments due to a lack of transportation. Consider asking your home care agency about setting up a transportation plan. It’s easy to set-up, and provides door-to-door service for medical appointments, outings and more. Plus, it gives you peace of mind. It’s a much safer option than finding another vehicle for your family member to drive.

Take Charge of Your Loved One’s Care: Ask the Right Questions Today!
Selecting the right home care agency for your loved one is a vital decision that requires thorough thought and consideration. It’s about ensuring their safety, comfort, and happiness. Don’t let unanswered questions or doubts get in the way of providing the best care for your loved ones.

Take charge of your loved one’s future by asking these important questions. Make an informed decision that guarantees the well-being of those you hold dear.

Ready to find the perfect in-home care agency? Contact us for an in-home care consultation and get all your questions answered.