Choosing the right home care agency for your loved one

by Richard Bitner

home careInvestigating in-home care agencies can be nerve racking. You want the best possible care for your loved one, but how do you know if the agency you choose is best? What should you be looking for in a senior home care agency? If you are concerned about making the right decision, here are some important things to consider when hiring an in-home care agency:

Caregiver Assignments. Some senior home care agencies assign caregivers without input from the client or their family. The caregiver working with your loved one has an extremely important job. Shouldn’t you have input into who is visiting your loved one’s home?

Caregivers In Training. The in-home care agency you choose should staff only experienced caregivers. Don’t trust the health and safety of your loved one to someone who is learning on the job.

You’re Hired! Has your caregiver been fully vetted? Did the in-home care agency conduct multiple interviews? Check professional references from other agencies, health care providers or previous clients? Were background checks conducted? If the in-home care agency you choose hasn’t made the effort to ensure they have the highest quality caregivers on staff, will they pay close attention to your loved one’s needs?

Neglects Safety. The senior home care agency you choose should be bonded, licensed and insured for your safety and the safety of your loved one.

No Caregiver Monitoring. The best senior home care agencies continuously monitor their caregivers. Many agencies perform surprise drop in visits and call clients regularly to ensure their caregivers are providing a superior level of care.

No Flexibility. Nothing about providing in-home care services is rigid. Your senior home care agency should be able to adjust the caregiver’s schedule or modify services with minimal notice. Your caregiver should be available when you need them, not just when it’s convenient for the caregiver.

Limited Services. The fluid nature of in-home care services makes it essential the agency you choose offers a wide range of services. For example, your loved one might not need overnight care today, but in the future it may be necessary. “If your agency doesn’t offer a full range of services, you may be forced to change in-home care providers with little notice. This can be stressful for both you and your loved one,” explains Larry Meigs, President and CEO of Visiting Angels.

Choosing an in-home care agency is no small task. The health and safety of your loved one is your primary concern and the agency you choose should be focused on the same concerns. Take the time to ask questions and get a complete picture of the in-home care agency’s procedures when interviewing senior home care providers. You won’t regret spending a bit more time getting to know the senior home care provider you choose and you may be able to avoid unexpected surprises down the line.

For Geriatric Care Management from an Aging Life Care Professional, contact Raleigh Geriatric Care Management 919-803-8025 for assistance for adult children and their aging parents navigating the myriad of eldercare resources in Wake and Durham Counties, North Carolina.


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