Caring for a loved one at home can be very rewarding and very stressful. It’s no wonder you need a little help. Whether it’s for a long time care or just a few weeks while your loved one is in recovery, you need to find the right person.
It can be a daunting task to find the right home care agency. You want the best care you can get and know your family is in good hands. You have to be able to trust them, and your loved one needs to feel safe and comfortable, as well.
From specific treatments to just a few hours of relief, you want to know you are getting the best care possible. Here are a few things to think about to get you started.
Finding the best Home Care Agency
Whether you need someone to come in and spend the day or just give you a bit of relief, bringing a stranger into your home means trust. You and the person receiving the care need to be at ease.
1. Ask for Recommendations
Ask your family health care provider for recommendations. They will have a few suggestions for you to investigate. Ask your family, your friends for suggestions. They will have names of places to use and to avoid.
Put together a list of places to want to know more about. Location is important, as is price and services offered. If you have a neighbor or friend who already uses an agency, ask them some sincere questions.
2. Do a Background Check
When you have narrowed down your list, start investigating these agencies. Once again, ask people who may have used them, do an internet search and ask medical professionals.
You can turn up a lot of information on the internet. If there are negative comments, don’t automatically remove them from your list. People can write bad reviews for many reasons.
You can also find forums where you can ask questions, read replies and find out more about what people have experienced with each agency. This can be very insightful.
3. Check Insurance and Licences
When your list is even shorter, check that all their credentials are in order. Licenses, certificates and insurance numbers will all be listed on their website. If you don’t see it, move on.
People need to be bonded to come to your home, so make sure you check out all the information, especially the information they are not showing you. If you have doubts, just move on. A fancy website doesn’t mean anything without information to back it all up.
4. Don’t Allow Yourself to be Pressured
Fast-talking smarmy sales pitches are not only annoying; they are a sure sign that their primary interest is in your wallet, not your dad. Even when they make it all sound too good to be true, it almost always is.
Don’t get locked into some contract that costs you a lot of money and even more to get out of it. If a contract is involved, it needs to be agreed upon and understood by all parties.
5. Interview more than one Agency
Even if you think you found the absolute winner, you should still interview a few more. This will help you get a clearer idea of what services are offered, and which one will best suit your needs.
It will be nearly impossible to find the perfect place, but you should be able to get close. You need to be prepared with your list of things you need and those that you can go without.
There should be a few that you think will suit your needs, so that’s when you can start to ask about other incentives to help you narrow the choice down. It’s always good to ask, as they may not just offer them up. Also, let them know you are considering other agencies, to help sweeten the deal.
6. Price isn’t the Answer
Don’t let the price sway you either way. The cheapest isn’t always the worse, and the most expensive might be just a lot of bells and whistles. Make decisions based on needs and services, rather than budget.
You do need to keep your budget in mind, but also keep in mind that these agencies are businesses, and need to make a profit. You’ll need to weigh your needs against services offered.
Always check with your health insurance provider, as they may cover some or all of the care needed. However, they may have a short list of agencies they use and receive bonuses from each new patient that signs on.
7. Ask Specific Questions for Your Needs
This is important if mom needs special care for a particular disease or illness. Some agencies may not be versed in dealing with patients with Alzheimers or cancer. You need to bring this up when you interview each agency.
If you just need someone to come in and lend a hand, then this type of care is easier to find. You can have an open discussion about what you need from them, and put together a plan. You can discover more about what a good agency can do for you.
You may need someone who is strong enough to lift the person, someone who has a driving license or speaks a specific language. You may require someone who can cook specific meals, and administer medications correctly.
Peace of Mind
The bottom line is that you and your loved one are happy. Whether you need to have someone come into your home or to the loved one’s home, everyone needs to be satisfied.
Do your homework, don’t shy away from tough questions and don’t feel you need to rush into your decision. You don’t want to make a mistake or get locked into a contract that ends up not working for you.
You want the best for your family or loved ones, so find the right home care agency that will help you provide that. You can’t do it alone, and it’s often easier for the patient to have a professional caregiver, rather than a family member.
For more tips on saving on health care, please continue reading here.