If you need in-home care for parents or a loved one, it might be tempting to call the first number that comes up in a search or grab the first business card in a stack. This could be a mistake as not all home care providers are the same. Some offer different services, and there are a few in-home care companies that emphasize service more than others. Obviously, you want the best care possible for your loved one so it’s important to scrutinize providers before making a decision. When you decide to look for a provider to deliver senior care at home, take these five things into consideration.
Credentials and Licensing
Any reputable home care provider should have credentials and licensing. For example, in Tennessee, a provider should be licensed by the state as a Personal Support Services Agency. You should also ask if the provider is properly bonded and insured.
Aside from a phone number for an agency, there should also be some detailed information available about the company and its services. Ideally, they will have a professional and informative website as well as some sort of social media presence. If you can’t get all of your questions answered online, call the company and ask further questions or request that a brochure be sent to your home.
When you invite someone into your home for any reason, you want to feel safe. The best home care providers will take great pains to employ caring and responsible caregivers. For example, people who provide elder care should be thoroughly interviewed, given a criminal background check, drug test, and undergo a personal reference check.
While you might not always receive medical care from an in-home care provider, it’s still just as important as ever that your personal information is protected. Any provider that you choose should be a HIPAA-compliant agency. This means that the company will protect your information, and the only people that have access to any of your data are those who are directly involved in your care.
Another thing that you’ll want to ask about is how the agency handles their scheduling. For example, if you need to cancel services, how much notice do they require? In most cases 24 hours is reasonable. Also, if you are contracting for senior care at home and the patient wishes to make a change for any reason, will this be an issue? Some care facilities might be short-staffed on occasion, so it’s a good idea to find out if there are procedures in place send a substitute caregiver when needed.
Hiring in-home care for parents or a loved one can be stressful when it’s a new experience. Use these tips to ensure you’re bringing the right company and elder care providers into your home the first time.