Making the decision to hire a home care agency to assist with the care of a senior loved one can be a nerve wracking decision. In the midst of a rapidly growing industry, finding a reliable, reputable in-home care provider can be an intimidating task for seniors and their family members.
In this post, we’ll provide you with five basic questions to get the conversation started with a potential in-home care provider:
1. Is your agency licensed?
Not all States require non-medical home care agencies to be licensed. However, when you ask an agency this question they should be able to promptly tell you if licensing is required in your area and what services their agency holds certifications to provide.
2. Are your caregivers certified?
Like State licensing, not all jurisdictions require formal certifications for companions and personal aides, however, if caregiver certification is not required ask about the training requirements for caregivers. Do they go through an in-house training program, continuing education, or are there any voluntary certifications that caregivers hold? With the help of a home care software or home care system, agency representatives should have quick access to this information.
3. How are caregivers supervised?
In home care requires caregivers to work in the field, often out of sight of their supervisors. Don’t be afraid to ask how an agency monitors caregiver arrival and departure, activity and if supervisory visits are conducted. Agencies using a home care software or home care system like ClearCare Online, for example, are able to track shift clock-ins and clock-outs via a telephony system and enable remote access to care logs with real time updates for family members. A willingness to share information and provide transparency is vitally important.
4. When are caregivers available?
Depending on the service needed now, and potential future need for care, ask about caregiver availability. Can shifts be scheduled intermittently, overnight or 24/7? Is there a minimum number of hours for each shift, and are there ample caregivers available to cover regular or any emergency shifts? With a home care software or home care system to manage operations, this is all information that should be readily available to agency representatives.
5. How do you share information with family caregivers?
Family caregivers want to know about the care their senior loved one receives in their absence. Ask the agency if they use any kind of home care software or home care system that allows for client log-in to see care updates, invoices and more, as ClearCare Online does, or how they otherwise ensure transparency in care.
Choosing the right home care agency can take some time, but is well worth the effort when a good match is made. For a more detailed list of questions, check out this step by step checklist offered by AARP, and leave a comment with any questions you’ve found helpful in your search for home care.