How To Choose The Right Home Care Agency For Your Needs?

Nine out of ten people want to age at home. We all seek the comfort of aging in a familiar place amongst friendly faces. And we want to provide the same for our loved ones.

Hiring your homecare provider can be a tricky task. Private Home care providers are trained to provide high quality non-medical services at home and help the elderly stay on top of their medications, general grooming and hygiene routines, along with dietary and social needs. Hence, when you are shopping for your future homecare agency, you are seeking a company that will assist you in addressing the well being and safety of your loved one in the best possible way. It is not the time to be shy to ask questions!

So here is what you need to know before you chose your homecare company;

Determine the Level of Care

First off, identify the level of care that your loved one deserves.

Always ensure to consult the cared individual regarding any specific needs. Also, speak with doctors, care manager, or hospital discharge planners, if the individual is coming home after a period of hospitalization, to get a better understanding of the services that are necessary and desirable. Most home care companies provide personalized packages including;

Personal care services such as grooming, feeding, mobility, bathing, dressing, incontinence care etc.

Companionship services such as traveling and shopping assistance, medication reminders, light housekeeping, mail assistance, and recreational activities.

Professional nursing care services such as diabetic and rehabilitative care, cardiac recovery, wound care, orthopedic and ostomy care, oxygen administration and emergency management.

Later, proceed to research and create a list of all agencies that provide all the identified services that your loved one requires. Exchange all pertinent information during the initial visitation or phone call to the agency to ensure that the company is the best fit to provide all or most of the services demanded.

Nowadays, home care agencies offer personalized care plans designed to meet your loved one’s specific needs and requirements. It entails a comprehensive and customizable schedule of services prescribed for the client. Care plans need to be reviewed routinely in consultation with the client, doctors, and family, and updated with changing needs. It is crucial to provide as much information as possible to help develop a targeted care plan and further help the company match clients with specific caregivers.

Do the homework: Licenses, Accreditation, And Certifications

The due diligent process of choosing your homecare company mandates a thorough background check.

Licensing laws vary by state, hence, ensure that your home care company is licensed, if required, to practice in your state of residence. Proficient homecare providers often also ‘bond’ their employees to cover any client-reported expenses related to theft, damage to property, etc., and have additional insurance coverage to account for unprecedented events or expenses.

Check the reputation of the homecare company by reaching out to references, community workers and previous clients. Web searches such as Google is another resource for your research. Testimonials, consumer reviews and ratings on the company’s website as well as popular review sites such as Yelp, Indeed, etc. also offer key insights into the company’s quality of service.

Additionally, contact the home care provider to be informed about their hiring practice. Educate yourself about the training and experience of your assigned care provider and inquire about how the company plans to accommodate caregiver preferences and services.

Caregivers are trained to provide intimate and intensely personalized services; it can be rewarding and enjoyable, but ultimately difficult. Some elders can be resistant to the idea that they require help and express discomfort in having a stranger in their premises. Hence, some companies offer the added opportunity for their clients to meet and interview the caregiver after the initial consultation, and before services begin, to ensure their personality is a good fit with the person receiving care. Experienced caregivers are prescient of the client’s needs and family dynamics and are prepared to invest in initial rapport building to establish a successful relationship with the client and family.

Request Cost Information

While there are several unparalleled virtues of choosing a homecare provider over assisted living facilities and retirement communities for the elderly, the cost is one among the major determinants. According to a national survey, the average cost of home care per month is $3477 compared to assisted living facilities that charge their clients an average of $4,027 per month for a basic single-room package. This price can vary drastically based on services requested and the training of the caregiver. Some companies might also require a security deposit to cover for unprecedented expenses, and emergency services.

Clarify how your home care company calculates the cost. While some companies use an hourly rate plan, others follow a daily rate model. Minimum requirements are standard – time minimums vary between 4-6 hours a day, based on company policies. Therefore, it is important to prepare and provide a realistic care schedule to the company so as to accurately calculate all the associated cost estimates.

Enquire about extra charges for after-hour, emergency services, holidays and their billing frequency along with available payment methods. Overnight rates and other additional charges are not unheard of.

Communication Policies

It is essential to maintain open and accessible communication channels with the company at all times. This ensures that- as the individual paying for the service- you are updated on your loved one’s well-being. Home care providers often offer round-the-clock call-in services and should be equipped to handle emergencies and contingencies after-hours.

Certain companies offer regular reports on care. This feature is particularly helpful for the long-distance family who are eager to learn about their loved one’s health and life.

– Review Home Care Policies and Procedures

Prepare a criteria sheet prioritizing all the required services and considerations before embarking on your home care company search. Peruse the information provided to evaluate each home care company and guide your informational interviews. Once you have gathered all pertinent information to help you chose the right home care provider, compare the results, finalize a selection, and meet your caregiver.

Finding the right home care provider can be a taxing task. That’s why, at Crystal Home Care we value our clients, and pride ourselves in the quality of our care and commitment of our workforce.

Request a free in-home consultation today to learn more about our services