Top 5 Questions to Ask When Choosing Home Care
Choosing quality care for aging relatives can be one of the most important decisions any of us will make. We want our loved ones to be comfortable but also safe and well cared for. Senior home care services can be the answer for many consumers. These services allow seniors to stay comfortably in their own homes but also provide for qualified professionals to visit regularly to ensure quality care. There are five important questions anyone should answer before hiring a service:
- Are the workers employees or independent contractors of the service?
In general, employees will have a higher level of support from the service company and often more stringent rules governing their actions. That doesn't mean you should rule out independent contractors, many healthcare professionals make their living as contractors, but you'll want to carefully interview the service about how contractors are managed and supervised, and if there is a case load difference between employees and contractors.
- Is the company bonded and insured?
You are hiring a company to have its employees in and out of your relative's home, often when you are not present. It's important to protect you, the company and the employee to ensure that the company is bonded and insured. You can feel more comfortable about the employee entering your relative's home when you are not there and possibly having a key when this protection is in place.
- How does the agency choose the assigned caregiver?
When choosing senior home care it's important to consider the needs of the senior. Does he or she have specific medical requirements for which the care specialist should have specific training. What about personality compatibility? You are hiring a service not only to look after a senior's medical care but also to make him or her more comfortable. The right caregiver can make all the difference in how your loved one responds to the care.
- Does the company provide a plan of care?
You are hiring a service and its employees for their expertise. They should give you a detailed plan of how they plan to care for your loved one. It doesn't matter if your senior home care needs are short or long term, a caregiver should have a clearly defined plan to follow.
- Does the company have a service agreement that clearly spells out terms and conditions?
Ultimately, you are signing a contract with a company to provide services and like any business agreement you will want to see all of the requirements, terms, conditions and carefully review them before moving forward.
Hiring senior home care may prove to be a significant expense so its also important to protect yourself. And it goes without saying, you'll likely need to involve yours (or the senior's) health insurance provider in the evaluation process.
Hiring someone to help take care of a loved one is a big decision, but by following these simple tips, you can find a caregiver that will take excellent care of your loved one, and you will be able to enjoy the time you spend with your senior more.
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