Whatever your loved one needs in-home non-medical care or just help with chores around the house, you want to ensure that the home care agency you allow into the home is trustworthy and reliable. In-home help services can be temporary or permanent depending on your loved one's needs. Although hiring a private individual is an option, it is best to hire a home care agency that offers the added peace-of-mind you need to leave your loved one in the care of a stranger. Before selecting any company, consider a few of these tips to ensure the agency you hire is not only trustworthy, but reputable as well.
Make sure the home care agency you select is licensed with the state of California. You can request to see the company's licensing information and check with the local health department and the Better Business Bureau for reviews or complaints.
Not all home care agencies are covered with Medicare. Therefore, if your loved one relies on the health benefits of Medicare you will want to call and make sure the company is a registered provider. A registered agency will meet all federal requirements for safety and health when caring for individuals within their home.
Just because an agency has a good reputation does not mean it practices due diligence when hiring employees. Ask the home care company how it screens its employees and ask for references for the caregiver that would be providing services for your loved one.
Quality of Care
The quality of care your loved one receives should be of the utmost importance. After all, you are hiring this company to send a caregiver to care for your loved one when you can not. Therefore, you want that individual to treat your loved one appropriately and meet all of her needs. Ask the home care agency about its process for assigning a particular caregiver to a client, and if there is any training involved before employees are allowed to work. Look for home care companies that require their employees to be trained for specific home care duties. You also want to make sure the company provides worker's compensation insurance so you will not be held liable in the event of an accident.
In addition to the caregiver's background and past care experience, you should also ensure that the agency regularly regularly checks its employees. This can be done with client feedback as well as visits to a client's home to evaluate the care provided by a particular caregiver.
Lastly, you need to ask yourself how you feel after meeting with the home care agency. If you feel comfortable with its representatives and the caregivers you meet appear to be genuine, your initial feelings are often a good indicator of whether the agency is the right fit for your loved one's needs. When in doubt, ask your doctor or local hospital for a recommendation for local home care companies, especially if your loved one has special care needs or specific requirements that not all agencies can provide.