When it comes to choosing a home care agency, the most important thing to remember is you are looking for a company that will be responsible for the safety and well-being of your loved one. This is not a task you should take lightly. Finding the appropriate agency takes time and due diligence – as well as knowing exactly what to look for. Once you have a better idea of what licenses, certifications, and homecare systems are important, you will be better equipped to make the right decision.
As you likely already know, not all homecare agencies are created equal.
1. Licensing and certification requirements vary since each state has its own division of the government that sets licensing standards. With a few exceptions (Idaho, South Dakota and Vermont), all states require licensing of home health care organizations. To confirm that an agency you’re interested in has met all licensing requirements, contact your state’s health department.
2. Homecare Software Use: Safety and care concerns can easily be put to rest when you consider using an agency that offers dependable homecare software. Agencies that use homecare systems pull ahead of the pack because they give their clients what other agencies cannot: real peace of mind. Homecare software like ClearCare effectively tracks caregiver schedules and daily tasks – ensuring that your family member is never forgotten or neglected. Homecare systems that use sophisticated Caller ID technology guarantees the caregiver is actually at your loved one’s home as scheduled. If safety and quality care are concerns of yours, be sure to look for agencies that offer homecare systems.
3. Memberships: Another point to consider is whether or not the agency is a member of The National Private Duty Association. Members of the NPDA employ trained caregivers and set high standards of care. NPDA member agencies carefully screen and supervise their caregivers, as well provide continuous education for all employees.
4. Caregiver Certification: In addition to homecare software, caregivers with certifications will help you develop trust and confidence in your loved one’s care. According to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, some states only require providers to have on-the-job training, while others demand more formal training. Even if certifications are not required in your state, ask the agencies you’re interviewing if any of their caregivers have received them. Agencies that offer ClearCare’s homecare software can easily match certified caregivers with their clients, which will add to your peace of mind.
Homecare choices can be difficult, but when you know what you’re looking for, the decision will be much easier. Remember to look for appropriate licensing, certifications, and homecare software such as ClearCare. Don’t hesitate to ask as many questions as it takes to help you feel comfortable about the agency and its practices. Agencies that take advantage of homecare systems will be completely organized and ready to answer all of your questions, helping you to choose the best provider for your elderly loved one.