Choosing a provider of in home care services can be confusing. There are many factors to consider such as the type of service, location, and price range. We’ve compiled a list of questions that you should ask your potential providers before making a decision on which one is best for you.
What is included with this service?
It is important to understand the scope of what will be included in your package. Will you get assistance with activities of daily living (bathing, dressing), medication reminders, and meal preparation?
How long have you been providing care services?
The longevity of a company ensures that they are committed to both their clients and employees. Quality assurance departments also tend to spend more time screening workers when they are new companies.
How does your service rate according to the state’s standards for home health agencies?
State Home Authorities regulate and oversee home care providers who provide services such as nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech language pathology, medical social work , etc.
How often will I receive visits?
Some companies visit on a daily basis and some as little as once or twice a week.
Is there an in home care, nurse hotline?
Companies that are serious about providing the best care possible will always have a dedicated contact number for you to reach them at any time. A good company should be available 24/7. If it isn’t they are probably not going to be able to respond to your needs when they arise.
What kind of training will my caregiver receive?
A company who values their clients and employees is going to make sure that each employee they hire has been properly background checked, drug tested, trained in CPR and first aid, senior friendly education (if needed), background checked again , and more. Training will be a large part of their process for new employees and they should let you know what kind of training package you can expect.
What training do your caregivers receive?
It’s important that each provider has at least one care giver who is certified in CPR, First Aid and Hazardous materials (like Proper usage of cleaning products). In addition to this, if the provider offers personal care services like bathing or dressing then they must have someone on staff that has additional skills such as being a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) upon hiring those individuals.
Can I meet some of your current clients?
Those who are serious about providing quality service will always be willing to show potential clients references from past customers and any testimonials that they may have received. I’ve included two of our reviews from senior forums below:
” Our loved one was supposed to be placed in a nursing facility but we found out that it would not accept her because she had [Alzheimer’s Disease] and didn’t have insurance- this is when I searched the internet for home care services and found M&Y care LLC. From my initial contact until now, I can say that the team at M&Y has always been prompt e helpful, patient and accommodating. Each client receives their own individualized plan which helps them maintain as much independence as possible while also providing peace of mind to caregivers. The prices are reasonable considering they come directly into your home, don’t overbill for contracted hours, and the service quality has never dropped. We are so grateful to them for helping our loved one maintain her dignity in the last few weeks of her life, I only wish we had found them sooner.”
“We were referred to M&Y care by our aid agency. This is my first experience with an agency like this and it was a great decision on their part. The caregivers have been sensitive to our family’s needs while still providing an excellent level of service. My husband is disabled and they help out around the house as well. The caregivers are friendly and easy to deal with. They keep me updated about my husband’s activities during visits so that i don’t need to worry about missing something important (as dementia patients tend to forget things).”
Can I have a visit without having to wait for someone else’s scheduled day off?
Companies that provide this level of flexibility are not only professional, but they know that there is no such thing as an “off” day. If you ever need help with anything, it can be extremely difficult if your care giver has already taken their “time off”.
Do you offer respite care?
If your caregiver takes time off for any reason (vacation or sick days) and you need to get out of the house then there should be a system in place where another employee can fill in. This ensures that you never feel like the company doesn’t have backup coverage since emergencies will always happen.
What about senior friendly education?
The number one reason that seniors suffer from falls is because they need assistance getting up and down the stairs without any warning. A company who takes pride in their service will never send caregivers out to a clients home without first doing an inspection of the house, checking for hazards like slippery floors or improper shower handles.
Many companies also supply items such as grab bars for bathrooms and stair rails that can be installed by the client so that there are no safety worries while you’re alone at home.
Do you offer additional services?
Respite care is becoming more popular these days since it helps families take short vacations or just go out for a few hours without worrying about their loved one. Some companies even offer companionship services for those who are struggling with the loss of a spouse or constant loneliness after retirement.
In most cases, you won’t have to pay extra for these services and your caregiver will be more than happy to explain them in detail before handing you a contract.
Do they offer transportation?
Many senior citizens do not drive any more but that doesn’t mean that they don’t need to go out shopping every once and awhile. If your company offers this as an option then make sure you ask about certain details (such as gas costs) before making up your mind.
What kind of continuing education does my caregiver get?
Just like doctors, nurses, and any other type of healthcare professional, caregivers should always be looking to improve their skillset. This ensures that they are providing the best possible service by keeping up with the latest in medical care.
In most cases, you will never have to pay extra for this training but your caregiver may ask permission before attending courses or seminars on weekends. They shouldn’t make these plans without talking to you first but some situations like chronic illnesses or unexpected emergencies do come up from time to time and it’s understandable if your caregiver decides not to wait a weekend before seeking help for an elderly loved one who is struggling more than usual.
Is it necessary for my family member to live in their home?
There has been a lot of controversy surrounding this topic since many caregivers view it as a permanent solution rather than just temporary help. In most cases, the elderly will still feel more comfortable in their own home even if they are showing signs of dementia or other illness.
However, there comes a point when the house becomes too difficult to live in and hiring a caregiver can be the best solution for everyone involved. However, make sure you ask about your options before accepting any kind of contract (including onsite services) because some companies may start charging additional fees once you move out permanently.
How do I contact my caregiver if I have questions?
It’s usually best to get a direct number for your care giver instead of going through an agency . This way if you have a problem and your caregiver is not responding to voicemails or emails then you can get in touch with a manager right away instead of having to wait for someone else to pick up the phone.
Remember that managing your own care isn’t easy and your family member deserves the best possible treatment. Resisting help from an outside source may feel more comfortable but it also might influence them into making poor decisions about their overall health (such as neglecting medicine because they don’t want anyone else touching it).
Don’t let stubbornness get in the way of keeping your loved one safe and secure so that they can enjoy being independent for as long as possible. The right level of care will be different for everyone so make sure you are asking the right questions before establishing a strong working relationship.
Do I have any other options for payment methods besides cash or check?
Depending on the circumstances, paying in cash might seem to be the best option but some companies only accept payment through checks. This means that you would have to go to your bank and make a withdrawal while also explaining why you are withdrawing so much money. If you don’t want constant questions then make sure your caregiver is willing to work with other forms of payments (such as credit cards) when necessary.
Do I get any discounts for long-term care?
Everyone wants their money to last as long as possible so it’s always a good idea to ask about discounts if possible. Your provider can tell you about all of the different options before giving you an estimate for how much services will cost each month or every year.
If my condition changes and requires more intensive care, how quickly will you respond to my needs?
Dealing with any kind of illness or injury is stressful and exhausting. When your loved one requires extra care then it’s very important to find a company that will be right by their side at the moment they need help.
Make sure you ask about response times before accepting any kind of contract because some companies can have as many as 24 hours to respond . This might not sound like a long time but if your elderly family member falls in the middle of the night and breaks their hip, there is nothing worse than having to wait until morning for an ambulance when you know they need medical attention now.
Do I have complete access to the caregiver at all times?
In most cases, caregivers do work with four shifts per day but there might be times when the patient requires a little extra attention. Make sure you have full access to your caregiver during these times because they should be willing to take more calls in order to make sure the elderly person is comfortable.
If anything happens, I need someone who will respond as quickly as possible without having to wait for permission from an outside source (such as a parent or manager). However, most caregivers aren’t going to be able to stay with you non-stop so it’s important that they are available no matter what time of day or night.
Is there anything else I need to know about your company before we move forward with our discussion?
There are so many details to consider when deciding how much you need to pay for long-term care. However, finding the right caregiver also means understanding their company’s mission statement and core values . Asking questions about these topics will give you a better idea of the type of business your loved one will be working with on a daily basis.
Remember that your family member deserves the highest level of respect from everyone they come into contact with (including caregivers) so make sure you are asking questions that can help them feel more comfortable during any given situation or procedure.
Conclusion : It is important to find the in home care provider that best meets your needs. Take a look at our list of questions and see if they will help you select the right service for you or your loved one. We hope this information helps make choosing an in home care services company less confusing so that you can spend more time enjoying life, not worrying about it! Which question on our list did we forget? Let us know in the comments below!