After several conversations with your elderly father, he reluctantly agreed to start professional home care. Because he lives several hours away it’s going to take some diligent “homework” on your part to find the right provider. With over 450,000 companies out there, choosing the best home care agency for your aging loved one can be challenging –- notably when it’s being done from a distance. Using these tips will help ensure that special senior in your life receives the nurturing they deserve.
Compile a List of Providers
Begin your search by compiling a list of home care agencies in dad’s area. Sometimes the best referrals come from coworkers, friends, family members, or neighbors. Ask those trusted sources if they know of any good home care providers that they’ve used – or are using – where your father lives.
Faith leaders are also good referral sources, along with doctors and other healthcare professionals that work with the aging. You can also obtain agency names through elder care resources like the local Area Agency on Aging, the national Eldercare Locator, or by contacting senior centers.
Narrow Down Your Search
Next, narrow down your search by asking each provider these specific questions:
What types of services do you offer?
Hiring someone to handle the grocery shopping or laundry is quite different from hands-on or live-in care. Does your loved one have dementia? Do they have functional limitations that prevent them from completing activities of daily living (ADLs)? Focus on agencies that can only provide the level of care that your senior needs.
Is your agency licensed and insured?
Licensed home care agencies must meet stringent state and federal guidelines. More reputable ones are also fully insured so your family will be protected if something unfortunate happens.
Do you screen your employees?
If a person you didn’t know was going to be in your home, you’d want to know about their background first. Narrow your agency search down by only including the ones that conduct criminal and driving background checks on all their caregivers.
Do you offer staff training?
Look for agencies that provide ongoing staff training in addition to requiring their caregivers to stay updated on the latest health precautions and care protocols.
What’s your backup plan?
Because emergencies like natural disasters happen, be sure that the agency has a viable continuity-of-care plan in place. Does the agency use technologies like video chat services to stay connected with clients when their caregivers can’t physically be there?
Do you have RNs on call?
Reputable home care agencies also have RN case managers on call 24/7 that supervise staff members and answer questions that family members might have.
How do you communicate?
Find out how and how often the agency would communicate information about your loved one’s status to you and other family members – whether it’s by email, phone call, text, or another method.
How much does the home care cost?
Also look into how much the agency charges for their services, and whether those costs fit within your family’s budget. Most agencies offer flexible care programs and charge by the hour if that’s your preference.
What do others say?
Next, Google each agency and see what others have to say about the quality of their services. Look for client testimonials and reviews on their website, along with any awards or certifications they’ve earned.
Do This Before Making Your Final Decision
Once you’ve narrowed your search down to a couple of agencies that meet these criteria schedule a time for you both to sit down and meet with a supervisor and potential caregiver. During that face-to-face meeting look for signs that the caregiver’s personality meshes well with that of your loved one – and yours.
Why Choose Us to Care for Your Loved One?
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.