As we have mentioned in previous posts, not all home care agencies are created equal. While the majority of agencies have their customers’ interests at heart, this is not always the case. Recent news articles have reported that many home care agencies are neglecting the screening process when hiring new caregivers, ignoring the value of using a home care system or home care software, and even fudging the truth when it comes to caregiver certifications.
A study published in the Journal of American Geriatrics Society found that a number of agencies are recruiting caregivers without conducting drug testing or criminal background checks. Only 55 percent of agencies surveyed conducted federal screenings, meaning any out-of-state crimes would not be included in the results. In addition, many agencies do not require previous caregiving experience or provide any training. One-third of the interviewed agencies assessed their caregivers’ skills and competencies – only after receiving client complaints.
Ensuring Quality Care with a Home Care System
Family members must be careful when making health care decisions for their loved ones. As more seniors require home care services, the more home care agencies there will be to choose from; however, not all agencies will offer appropriate levels of care or supervision.
With ground-breaking technology like home care software, such as provided by ClearCare, families can have real-time visibility to their relative’s point-of-care. This kind of transparency allows family members to be real advocates for their loved one’s care and stay completely involved even from miles away. ClearCare’s home care system and home care software lead the market with the most innovative solution for ensuring quality home care.
Questions to Ask Your Home Care Agency
The best decisions are made when you are armed with adequate information. To that end, we’ve compiled a list of questions that will help you make the best choice when it comes time to interview home care agencies.
• What is your agency’s process for recruiting and hiring caregivers?
• Do you perform state and federal criminal background screenings?
• Are your caregivers subjected to drug tests and regular performance assessments?
• How do you assess each caregiver’s skills?
• Do you use a home care system or home care software for quality control and supervision?
• Do you provide ongoing training and evaluations?
This list is just to get you started. You should ask as many questions as it takes to make you feel comfortable with the agency and their staff.
Finding a great home care agency does not have to be difficult, but it may take some time. The key is to begin your research now, before a crisis or emergency arrives that necessitates an immediate decision. This may lead to “settling” for a good agency, rather than a great one. Even if you feel confident that the caregivers have been screened and properly trained, you may be missing out on a home care system or home care software that could keep you updated on your loved one’s daily care.
We believe it’s important to point out that the majority of home care agencies are working diligently to provide safe and quality services to their clients. There are far more good agencies than bad, but it is critical to know the difference. The same holds true for finding a great home care agency. Do your homework, ask questions, and remember to look for an agency that offers peace of mind with a home care system or home care software program like ClearCare.