Deciding to hire a home care agency is the first step toward developing a long-term relationship of trust with an organization. As such, those beginning the selection process should be aware of the steps needed to make sure the agency can provide the level of care you need while staying in your budget.
Agencies vs. Individual Caregivers
It’s important to note that while many people assume “in-home care” means hiring an individual caregiver, this isn’t always the best option. Home care agencies tend to charge more due to the costs of finding qualified help, performing background checks, confirming certifications, and handling the administrative costs of a full staff. Those who hire in-home caregivers have to perform all of these checks themselves, with no assurance of quality or experience for each candidate.
This peace of mind is what makes home care agencies a preferable option for those who want to guarantee quality care for their loved ones.
It Starts With a Phone Call
After searching for home care agencies in your area, the next step is to give them a call. Collect basic information, such as their care options and service rates to see if they can meet your needs. They’ll likely ask you some basic personal questions and get you scheduled for an in-person interview.
Prepare for the Consultation
When meeting with home care representatives for your initial consultation, it pays to come prepared. The representative will ask you (or your family member) a series of personal questions to determine your care needs. These generally include the following:
- Personal background, interests, hobbies, and favorite activities
- The specific tasks you need help with (overnight care, meal preparation, running errands, etc.)
- Current health information and medical history
- Emergency contact information for family members and physicians
Have this information and any necessary documentation on hand to help the process go smoothly.
Questions You Should Ask
Of course, just as important as the questions they ask you are the questions you ask them. Everyone considering the services of a home care agency should put the representatives through their paces and learn as much about the organization as possible. Questions to ask here may include the following:
- What levels of care do you offer? Most home care agencies offer help that ranges from basic assistance with errands to comprehensive, around-the-clock care. Make sure the agency is capable of meeting your needs at a price you can afford.
- Are background checks performed? All reputable home care agencies check the background, accreditations, and health certifications of all employees, so make sure the agency you’re considering follows suit. This includes proper licensing, bonding, and insuring of all caregivers.
- What training is provided? Ask your prospective agency about the training they provide their caregivers. Individuals with disabilities and special needs often have unique care requirements that require dedicated training to become proficient in. Make sure the agency in question has healthcare practitioners who receive up-to-date and ongoing training to provide the assistance your family member needs.
Don’t Rush the Decision
After the interview, you and your family should have enough information to make a decision about which care options are feasible. But more than anything else, take your time when considering your home care options. Quality care can be hard to find, and there’s nothing more important than finding the right caregiver able to support you and your family’s needs. If you’re interested in finding a home care agency that has a passion for client care, please contact us or visit our national home care registry.