What Should I be Asking a Home Care Agency?
When you are done researching and gathering of information for the available home care agencies that serve your area the next step will be calling the agencies for detailed information about your loved one and their circumstances.
Chances are, most questions asked will be around the safety and care of your loved one, but there is a lot of other information to gather when you are vetting an agency to place a caregiver into your home.
The first question every family almost always asks is “how much do you charge?” Cost is based on many factors including the level of care needed, the number of hours requested and the scope of services.
During the call, the care coordinator will ask numerous questions about the patient and the place where care will be taking place. Be as honest as you can, it is part of the process. They need the information to develop a profile of you or your loved one so they can accurately assess your needs.
To help facilitate this conversation, capture all the details, and ask the same questions of each agency, a checklist will help you stay on track.
Home Care Checklist:
o What kind of services do you provide?
o Can you give me a general overview of what caregivers can and cannot do?
o What kind of training do the caregivers receive? Is there any special training for the condition you are looking to receive help with?
o Are caregivers background checked?
o Are you licensed, bonded, and insured?
o How are care plans developed?
o Who oversees the coordination of care?
o How do you match caregivers?
o How do you measure the quality of care?
o How long have you been in business?
o Will I always have the same caregiver?
o What is your policy for finding fill-in aides if my caregiver can’t make it?
o How is billing handled? Do you work with long-term care insurances?
o What are the hourly rates? Weekends? Holidays?
o How do you handle caregivers doing transportation?
o Is the agency accredited?
o How does the office and the caregiver communicate with the family?
o What are the after-hours and emergency procedures?
o What are the coronavirus/COVID-19 protocols?
Finding the right home care agency is a process based on research as well as questions and answers from both the consumer and the agency when coming to a decision. The coordinators do their absolute best to find the right match for each client based upon all the information gathered, the more information obtained and provided, the better of a match that can be made.