After discussing the situation with your family, you’ve finally decided to accept some professional in-home care. With over 450,000 home care providers in the US to choose from, it’s important to carefully weigh all your options before “signing on the dotted line.” Factors to consider when choosing a home care agency include services offered, reputation, and cost. Getting answers to the following questions will help ensure that all your care needs are met without breaking your budget.
Where Should I Look?
Sometimes, knowing where to find home care agencies is half the battle. Ask your friends, neighbors, and family members for referrals if you have never used an agency before. If you are computer-literate, a quick Google search can pull up the names of local in-home care companies.
What Services Do They Offer?
Initially, you may only need a little help performing activities of daily living (ADLs), like light housekeeping, meal preparation, or bathing. But if you’ve recently been diagnosed with a serious illness, you may eventually need 24-hour live-in care to support an independent lifestyle.
Look for a provider that offers a full menu of in-home services, including dementia care, post-surgical care, transportation, and other options. It’s also a good idea to ask if the agency requires ongoing staff training and if their caregivers are certified based on your state’s requirements.
Are They Reputable?
In addition to recommendations from family and friends, you’ll also need to research what others say about the agency. Online reviews from clients and their families also reveal much about an agency’s reputation, along with testimonials from current and former employees.
Reputable home care companies also conduct drug tests and extensive background checks on their employees, including criminal and driving records. While you’re at it, check to see if the agency meets all your state’s certification requirements.
How Much Will It Cost?
Contrary to what you might think, Medicare does not cover elective home care services like personal care or homemaker services. While your choice of an in-home care provider should not exclusively hinge on price, it will inevitably play a role. First, determine how much you can afford based on your monthly budget.
In most cases, the cost of care relies on the number of hours the caregiver spends with their client, along with the type of services they provide. Before making your choice, research each company’s hourly rates, as well as how much they charge for daily and overnight visits.
Can I Interview the Caregivers?
Once you’ve narrowed down your search to two or three candidates, you’ll need to progress to the interview phase. Schedule a screening interview with each potential caregiver to ensure that their personality and work ethic align with yours. If possible, invite someone whose opinion you trust to sit in on the meeting.
During the interview, don’t be afraid to ask the supervisor for references from previous clients, along with proof of insurance and other certifications. This is also the perfect time to discuss your care plan and how the agency would meet those ever-changing needs.
Other questions you should ask include:
- What’s your backup plan in the event of an emergency or illness?
- Will my primary caregiver be providing most of the care?
- How do you measure the competency and performance of your caregivers?
- How do you determine if a caregiver is a good fit for a senior?
- Do you conduct periodic drug tests on your employees?
- Is a registered nurse (RN) or equivalent case manager available 24/7?
Finding the right home care agency for your needs and budget isn’t always easy, but it is possible by doing your homework. In the end, finding a reliable caregiver should help you remain independent while enjoying all the comforts of home for many years to come!
Quality In-Home Care from an Agency You Can Trust
At AmeriCare Plus, we are a family-owned senior care business that’s been assisting clients and their families in Virginia for over 26 years now. Spearheaded by Team Teal, we offer our clients care, compassion, and security in the comfort of their own homes.
As licensed home care providers, our highly trained professionals can deliver in-home care services that include respite care, hourly personal care, live-in companion care, bed and bath assistance, holiday assistance, and even pet assistance. With 10 convenient locations across Virginia, we are one big family taking care of your family! To learn more about AmeriCare Plus now or schedule an initial consultation for a senior in our service area, please visit us today at www.americarepluspc.com.