Home Care For Seniors How To Choose the Right Agency For Your Loved One
To help you during your search for homecare, make sure that you consider the following points to ensure that your loved ones are protected and receive the best care possible.
Do Your Home Work
Before you make a call consider what your loved ones care needs really are.
Do they need skilled medical assistance for things like blood pressure and blood sugar testing, medication administration, wound care or tube/drain/bag maintenance?
Do you simply need a companion caregiver that can provide assistance with cooking, light house work and or transpiration
Are their needs more extensive, which may require hands-on care such as lifting, bathing or toileting? Hands-on care requires a Certified Nursing Assistant to provide those services.
Do you need a caregiver who is trained and experienced in fields such as hospice care, memory loss (i.e. Alzheimers, dementia), or severe mobility issues?
Try to paint a realistic picture of your loved ones needs so that the right caregiver match can be made.
Interview the Agency
To protect yourself and your family member or friend from potential liability, make sure you ask and consider the following when selecting a home care agency.
What levels of care are available? Are you licensed for medical care or only non-medical care?
Are your caregivers supervised by an RN? Do you have skilled staff members conduct an initial assessment before starting each case?
Are your workers employees of the agency or contractors? If they are contractors do I need to provide them with an IRS form 1099?
Are all employees drug screened and background checked including driving records?
Do you check references? Can you give me details on the background of the caregiver? Can I get someone who has worked with a patient with a similar condition/illness?
Are all employees licensed, bonded and insured? Have you checked that their car insurance is up to date?
What happens if a caregiver is injured in my home?
What happens if a caregiver calls in sick or has an emergency? Will you send another worker of equal skill and experience?
If there is a personality conflict or other problem with a caregiver, can a change be made? How is this handled?
What are your rates and are they by the hour or by the day? Are there minimums in terms of hours that I have to commit to each day/week?
Can I interview the caregiver before I commit to using your agency?
What happens in case of an emergency? Can your caregiver provide hands-on help (i.e. lifting, CPR, etc) or do they have to wait for emergency services?
How much notice do I need to give you if I need to cancel a shift or if I wish to terminate my agreement with you altogether?
Before your caregiver starts, write out your loved ones daily and weekly schedule. Include their likes and dislikes with respect to both foods and activities. This will help the make the transition easier, less stressful and help your caregiver get up to speed quickly.
Most of all remember you and your loved one are the client. Never hesitate to express your needs and give feedback, especially if you are dissatisfied. Matching of a caregiver is as much an art as it is a science. Clear, constructive feedback always helps.
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