At first, you may not feel comfortable asking others for help, but it’s best to understand that hiring a caregiving agency does not mean you’re somehow “letting down” your loved one. In fact, the exact opposite is true. Hiring a caregiver shows how much you cherish your elderly loved one and the steps you are willing to take to keep your family whole and healthy.
Caregiving services can vary wildly in quality, price, and availability, so be sure to do your due diligence before hiring a private caregiver vs caregiving agency.
In very general terms, caregiving services can provide not only practical help, but also support, guidance, access to resources, and compassion. Ultimately, your goal is to hire a caregiver who will become a trusted part of your family and help you all enjoy peace of mind and a better quality of life.
Hiring a caregiver will help seniors live safely and independently in the comfort and familiar surroundings of their own homes. Not only should the caregiver’s qualifications and work experience match the job description, but there should also be a good rapport between the caregiver and your loved one.
Things to Consider When Hiring a Caregiving Agency
The prospect of hiring a caregiving agency can seem daunting. But, if you break the process down into manageable pieces and proceed methodically, you’ll make quick progress. To get you started, here’s a list of three areas to focus on when researching caregiving options:
- Continuity of care
- Response to emergencies
Continuity of Care
Having only one or two caregivers over time, rather than a new caregiver for every visit, will help your loved one feel more at ease. It will also improve the quality of their care since the caregiver will learn your loved one’s routines and be better able to recognize when something seems “out of the ordinary.” Make sure any senior care services you’re considering provide continuity of care and offer backup plans in place in case your loved one’s caregivers are sick, unavailable, or away.
Response to Emergencies (On-Call Support)
Eldercare is challenging and unpredictable, and you need a caregiving agency that can provide you and other family caregivers with the support you need 24/7. Look for agencies that have someone on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so urgent matters can be attended to immediately.
To protect yourself and your loved one, take your due diligence seriously. Ask for at least three references for each caregiving agency you’re considering and do a background check via an online site or through your personal and professional networks.
Five Questions to Ask Potential Caregiving Agencies
Before hiring a caregiving agency, review the terms and conditions of their contract carefully. Make sure you know exactly which caregiving services will be provided, how much those services will cost, and when the contract will expire.
The five key questions to ask potential caregiving agencies include:
- Do you employ your own staff of caregivers and provide them with insurance and benefits?
- Are your caregivers licensed with the state? (not all states require licensing)
- Does your caregiving agency provide all appropriate insurance coverage, including liability and workers compensation?
- Do you require written references, criminal background checks, drug testing, and driving record verifications?
- Does your caregiving agency verify long-term care insurance coverage and provide documentation to maximize reimbursement?