Not all in-home care agencies provide the same services. Here are some important questions to ask before you hire an agency to care for you or your loved one.
Danger Signs When Choosing a Caregiver
by Richard Bitner – Aging Life Care Assoication™ Corporate Partner
Investigating in-home care agencies can be nerve racking. You want the best possible care for your loved one, but how do you know if the agency you choose is best? What should you be looking for in a senior home care agency? If you are concerned about making the right decision, here are some important things to consider when hiring an in-home care agency:
Caregiver Assignments. Some senior home care agencies assign caregivers without input from the client or their family. The caregiver working with your loved one has an extremely important job. Shouldn’t you have input into who is visiting your loved one’s home?
Caregivers In Training. The in-home care agency you choose should staff only experienced caregivers. Don’t trust the health and safety of your loved one to someone who is learning on the job.
You’re Hired! Has your caregiver been fully vetted? Did the in-home care agency conduct multiple interviews? Check professional references from other agencies, health care providers or previous clients? Were background checks conducted? If the in-home care agency you choose hasn’t made the effort to ensure they have the highest quality caregivers on staff, will they pay close attention to your loved one’s needs?
Neglects Safety. The senior home care agency you choose should be bonded, licensed and insured for your safety and the safety of your loved one.
No Caregiver Monitoring. The best senior home care agencies continuously monitor their caregivers. Many agencies perform surprise drop in visits and call clients regularly to ensure their caregivers are providing a superior level of care.
No Flexibility. Nothing about providing in-home care services is rigid. Your senior home care agency should be able to adjust the caregiver’s schedule or modify services with minimal notice. Your caregiver should be available when you need them, not just when it’s convenient for the caregiver.
Limited Services. The fluid nature of in-home care services makes it essential the agency you choose offers a wide range of services. For example, your loved one might not need overnight care today, but in the future it may be necessary. “If your agency doesn’t offer a full range of services, you may be forced to change in-home care providers with little notice. This can be stressful for both you and your loved one,” explains Larry Meigs, President and CEO of Visiting Angels.
Choosing an in-home care agency is no small task. The health and safety of your loved one is your primary concern and the agency you choose should be focused on the same concerns. Take the time to ask questions and get a complete picture of the in-home care agency’s procedures when interviewing senior home care providers. You won’t regret spending a bit more time getting to know the senior home care provider you choose and you may be able to avoid unexpected surprises down the line
Ask an Aging Life Care Professional™ to help you choose the right caregiver. Aging Life Care Professionals know the agencies in their area and can help match the best agency for your loved one’s needs. Aging Life Care Professionals can also help monitor or manage the care and care team. Click here to find an expert in your area.
About the author: Richard Bitner is Vice President of Marketing for Visiting Angels. As Vice President of Marketing at Visiting Angels, Rich Bitner implements successful marketing strategies for home care clients, prospective franchisees, and the national media; while also providing national, regional and one-on-one marketing training consultations to franchisees. Rich has 30 years of background in media, marketing, advertising and public relations.
This blog is for informational purposes only and does not constitute, nor is it intended to be a substitute for, professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Information on this blog does not necessarily reflect official positions of the Aging Life Care Association™ and is provided “as is” without warranty. Always consult with a qualified professional with any particular questions you may have regarding your or a family member’s needs.