Making the decision to hire a home care service to provide care for your loved one is an important and difficult decision. If an illness or recovery from surgery requires nursing care or physical therapy, you may need both a skilled provider as well as a personal aid. Each home care situation is unique. Usually in the beginning, family and friends step in to help with simple tasks. But, as long term care needs progress, more time is required to manage those needs as physical and mental conditions change with aging. Simple daily activities and routine hygiene become more difficult as a person ages. Even with the healthiest of seniors, the ability to drive a car, shop for groceries or do general housekeeping eventually needs to be relinquished to the responsibility of another person.
When the time comes, choosing the right non-medical or personal home care services is very important. Before starting your search, determine what the care needs are and how much time each week will be required for assistance from the company. Most home care companies will help you do an assessment at no charge. With your care needs in hand, you are ready to begin your search.
Here are a few guidelines to follow when searching for a home care company.
- How long has this provider been serving the community?
- Does this provider have literature on its services, eligibility requirements, fees and funding sources? Does the provider supply you with a “Patient Bill of Rights” that outlines the rights and responsibilities of the providers, clients and family caregivers?
- How does the provider select and train its employees? Ask for a copy of their malpractice insurance. Does it protect clients from theft or abuse by bonding its employees?
- Does this provider assign supervisors to oversee the quality of care clients are receiving in their homes?
- What are the financial procedures of this provider?
- What procedures does the provider have in place to handle emergencies?
- How does the provider ensure client confidentiality?
And most of all, ask for a list of previous clients as references. Also, many states license non-medical home care companies and require both legal and health standards to be maintained.