According to a recent report from IbisWorld, there are over 460,000 home care businesses in the United States. As an informal caregiver, choosing the right provider for your aging loved one can be challenging with everything else on your “plate.” Helping independent seniors live out the remainder of their days with dignity by finding them a “personal assistant” takes planning and perseverance. Taking these five home care agency search steps will help ensure that your loved one continues to receive the nurturing they deserve.
Compile a List of Providers
Sometimes, knowing where to find a home care agency is half the battle. Ask friends, neighbors, and family members for referrals if you have never used an agency before. If you are computer-literate, a quick Google search can pull up the names of local in-home care companies.
Find Out What Services They Offer
Initially, you may only need a little help performing activities of daily living (ADLs), like light housekeeping, meal preparation, or bathing. But if you’ve recently been diagnosed with a serious illness, you may eventually need 24-hour live-in care to support an independent lifestyle.
Look for a provider that offers a full menu of in-home services, including dementia care, post-surgical care, transportation, and other options. It’s also a good idea to ask if the agency requires ongoing staff training and if their caregivers are certified based on your state’s requirements.
Read What Others Have to Say
In addition to recommendations from family and friends, you’ll also need to research what others say about the agency. Online reviews from clients and their families also reveal much about an agency’s reputation, along with testimonials from current and former employees. Has the provider received any industry awards based on the quality of care they provide?
Reputable home care companies also conduct drug tests and extensive background checks on their employees, including criminal and driving records. While you’re at it, check to see if the agency meets all your state’s certification requirements.
Determine How Much It Will Cost
Contrary to what you might think, Medicare does not cover elective home care agency services like personal care or homemaker services. While your choice of an in-home care provider should not exclusively hinge on price, it will inevitably play a role. First, determine how much you can afford based on your monthly budget.
In most cases, the cost of care relies on the number of hours the caregiver spends with their client, along with the type of services they provide. Before making your choice, research each
company’s hourly rates, as well as how much they charge for daily and overnight visits.
Conduct Your Own Screening Interview
Once you’ve narrowed down your search to two or three candidates, you’ll need to progress to the interview phase. Schedule a screening interview with each potential caregiver to ensure that their personality and work ethic align with yours. If possible, invite someone whose opinion you trust to sit in on the meeting.
During the interview, don’t be afraid to ask the supervisor for references from previous clients, along with proof of insurance and other certifications. This is also the perfect time to discuss your care plan and how the agency would meet those ever-changing needs.
Other questions you should ask include:
- What’s your backup plan in the event of an emergency or illness?
- Will my primary caregiver be providing most of the care?
- How do you measure the competency and performance of your caregivers?
- How do you determine if a caregiver is a good fit for a senior?
- Do you conduct periodic drug tests on your employees?
- Is a registered nurse (RN) or equivalent case manager available 24/7?
Finding the best home care provider for your needs and budget isn’t always easy, but it is possible by doing your homework. In the end, finding a reliable caregiver should help you remain independent while enjoying all the comforts of home for many years to come!
Quality In-Home Care for Families in the Pacific Northwest
At Family Resource Home Care, we proudly serve many communities throughout the Pacific Northwest. Our local caregiver teams share a commitment to enhancing their neighbors’ quality of life while supporting clients and families with personalized in-home care solutions. When you need in-home private duty care, we answer the call with senior services that include respite care, personal care, meal preparation, errands and transportation, light housekeeping, companion care, live-in care, and dementia and Alzheimer’s care.
Our highly trained nurses provide nursing delegation and close supervision of caregivers while in the home for your peace of mind. At Family Resource Home Care, we are here for you! To learn more about our affordable home care and home healthcare services or request a FREE consultation for a senior in our service area, please visit us today at: www.familyresourcehomecare.com.