The first step towards locating the best home care agency should be, deterring the exact level of care that would be required. There are actually, two primary categories of home care services. They are skilled care and custodial care. Skilled care is sought when you have medical needs to be attended to. Custodial care, on the other hand, entails environmental assistance. Custodial care includes assistance with shopping, cooking, housekeeping and personal care assistance in bathing, feeding or even dressing up.
Once you know what kind of home care services would be required by your aged loved one, you could start short-listing appropriate home care agencies based in your city. It is always a wise idea to make a comparative estimate of the shortlisted agencies. You could interview and evaluate all these shortlisted agencies so that you could choose the one that looks best suitable for your loved one’s specific condition. Here’s a checklist to help you make the right choice.
Do Thorough Background Check
Find out what is the background of the shortlisted company in question. Look for the ownership and history of the company. Find out about the kind of license they are having. You must find out about the owner of the company and once you know who the owner is, you could analyze how the ownership impacts the reliability and service of the company. Does this agency have the backing of a nationally robust firm? Is it having goodwill in the market? Is it renowned? Be clear about all these questions that are sure to crop up while making a decision for your loved one whether you are thinking of a home care agency or assisted living facilities. You need to find out for how long the agency is in the business. Although that fact is not always reflective of the quality of service and care provided, but it would be demonstrating the success and stability of the company, to a certain extent.
Always Check References
You must request for a list of references from the home care agency. You could ask them to give you names and contact information of clients, their family members, doctors, community leaders and discharge planners who are completely familiar and fully aware of the home care agency’s quality of service. Once you get the list of references, contact them and see what kind of feedback you are getting from the ex or current clients. Are they happy and satisfied with the services provided by the home care agency? Would they be using this home care company again for their loved ones? If the answer is in the affirmative, you could judge for yourself the quality of service and care.
Browse Reviews & Reports
You could browse through online reviews and assess the general standard of the home care agency you are looking at. Ask for the annual report and examine the contents meticulously. Go thoroughly through other relevant educational materials that could provide important information about the home care agency.
Qualifications & Certifications of the Staff
You could rely on a home care agency and be happy about its standard if it investigates the credentials of all the caregivers before hiring them. The caregivers undergo a meticulous professional screening and testing process. Find out if the agency provides ongoing training to its team of caregivers so that they are abreast with the latest trends in the field. Does the agency emphasize on fully trained and accredited caregivers?
Find out answers to all your queries before opting for any home care agency. Remember your decision could have serious repercussions on the comfort and happiness of your loved one. Keep the discussed factors in mind while choosing a good home care agency. A good home care agency ensures that the elderly, the ill and the disabled patients are given high quality personal, as well as, compassionate care. They would be providing professional and personalized services in the privacy, safety, and convenience of the patient’s own home.
Author Bio: Erin Richter is a social worker and blogger. She has worked extensively in the care giving sector for young children and senior citizens alike and is a firm advocate of home care and even assisted living facilities for your elderly loved ones.