What You Need to Know When Choosing an In-Home Care Provider - Part 1 of 2

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posted by Ryan Whittington on November 10, 2010

Living in the comfort of their own home is a rapidly increasing choice among the elderly as physical capabilities inevitably diminish.  The need for help outside the family becomes a real necessity.  When living at home with minimal help becomes too difficult or dangerous, it may be time to consider an in-home care provider.  Professional caregivers enable the elderly to maintain their dignity, receiving safe and reliable care in the comfort of thier home, while avoiding uncomfortable situations such as nursing homes.  Another important benefit is the respite and peace-of-mind that family members gain from knowing their loved one's are properly cared for.  Additionally, as hospital stays become shorter, an increasing number of patients need highly competent caregiver services when they return home.

Important Considerations When Selecting an In-Home Care Provider

  • What are the specific services offered by the organization and do they meet your needs?  If you need transportation, do they provide it?
  • Do they employ their caregivers or are they independent contractors?  if the latter, you may have certain risks, i.e., lack of workman's compenstion insurance, no supervision and payroll tax concerns, etc.
  • Do they conduct a thorough background check including appropriate criminal record checks and a driving record report?
  • Is each employee bonded and does the company have sufficient general and professional liability insurance?  Will they show you a copy of their Certificate of Liability Insurance?
  • What is the emphasis placed on compatibility, i.e., matching the appropriate caregiver with the needs and personality of the client and their family?
  • What about communication ... is it easy to reach a manager or the owner? Do they willingly involve appropriate family members in developing a Care Plan? Do they have turnover in staff making it difficult for the service to meet your expectations? How responsive are they?
  • Are the caregivers known for their attentive, friendly, caring and professional demeanor?
  • Do they have a service agreement and does it clearly spell out all of the terms and conditions?
  • Do they have their caregivers maintain an on-going log that summarizes the details of each care session - and is this available for review by the client and/or family members?
  • Does the company have relevant business affiliations and certifications like the Better Business Bureau or other memberships that show a commitment to professionalism?
  • What is the educational background of ownership? Do they have any credentials directly applicable to managing care for elderly adults?
  • How long has the company been in business?

Best wishes for a happy future, and please call Seniors Home Care if you have any questions we can help with.

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Advocacy and Education and Case Management
  1. Derek Dewitt

    Derek Dewitt

    February 26, 2018

    My wife is thinking about getting a caregiver for her dad but isn’t sure where to start. I like your point about finding a company that does background checks on their employees. This would make me feel much better about letting this person be in the house, so we’ll be sure to ask about this when screening different companies.

  2. Lily Bridgers

    Lily Bridgers

    November 21, 2023

    It’s comforting to know that skilled caregivers help the elderly keep their dignity by providing dependable, safe care in the comfort of their own homes, keeping them out of unpleasant settings like nursing facilities. This, I believe, is the reason my mom is finding it difficult to get a private nurse. My grandmother needs the greatest care possible because she has been bedridden for the past month.

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