If you have decided that it is time to hire a professional caregiver for your aging loved one, it’s important to know how to find a reputable home care agency. Search for one as you would for a good physician because you want one that is reputable and reliable. It is always a good idea to seek out recommendations and opinions from professionals you trust; physicians, nurses, insurance agents, attorneys and/or the local Area Agency on Aging. They are in a position to know which agencies have the best track record of the care and the most skilled caregivers.
Here are some of the things you should consider when gauging the quality of an agency and the services they should provide.
Determine if a home care agency is dependable and trustworthy:
- How long has the agency been in business?
- Will they allow you to interview caregivers? Will they replace them if they aren’t a good fit for your loved one? Success is as much about personality as it is about caregiving skill.
- How do they train their staff? You want to see that they receive regular training and have credentials that indicate their level of skill.
- Does the home care agency incorporate technology so that it is easy for you to communicate with the agency and the caregiver during your busy day?
- Do they provide a “Patient Bill of Rights” that outlines the rights and responsibilities of providers, care recipients, and caregivers alike? You want an agency that provides that level of organization and protection.
What range of home care services does the agency provide to meet the specific needs of your loved one?
- Dietary needs and restrictions
- Companion services to accompany your loved one to the movies etc.
- Grocery shopping and housekeeping assistance
- Language and/or cultural preferences
Will a plan of care be developed and can the family members participate?
- Do they have a credentialed professional who can coordinate care, such as taking the senior to doctor’s appointments and documenting the care instructions, medication adherence, etc.?
- Is the client’s course of treatment documented, detailing the specific tasks to be carried out by each professional caregiver?
What procedures does the provider have in place to handle emergencies?
- Are its caregivers available 24 hours a day, seven days a week?
- Is there coverage if your specific caregiver is sick?
You want to be confident in the caregiver you choose. LivHOME’s Care Management solution offers professional guidance for caregiving, housing, legal, financial, health, and special needs. Life Care Managers specialize in medication oversight, emotional and psychological support, and social planning and engagement to enhance your loved one’s quality of life