Is it time to find an in-home care company for your loved one? You are not alone. According to John Hopkins Medicine, about 12 million people in the United States require in-home assistance.
But, with over 33,000 home care providers, how do you pick the right one? You don’t want just anyone caring for your loved ones. You want caregivers who are compassionate, well-trained, and reliable.
Before hiring a company to provide in-home care, you must take time to research and ask questions.
15 Questions to Ask Your Home Care Company Before You Hire Them
Use this list for each company you’re considering and write down their answers. Then you can compare your options and select the best one.
1. How do you vet your employees?
In-home care companies should require complete background checks on their care providers. Talk to them about what this process looks like for them.
2. Does the company have a license?
It is important to make sure the home health agency is licensed in your state. This means they meet the requirements outlined in your area. Being licensed also means they are operating a legitimate company and aren’t just a scam.
3. Can I see a bio for caregivers?
You want to find a great fit for your loved one. Seeing a caregiver bio can help you make this decision. It’ll also show you caregiver credentials and experience.
4. What training do you provide your caregivers?
Some companies just offer an initial orientation and training session. Others provide on-going training opportunities to help their caregivers improve. Depending on what state you live in, there may be more intense training program required by law. Be sure to ask about your chosen agencies training protocols.
5. When can you start providing services?
What are the on-boarding requirements? Some require an in-home assessment, or a placement evaluation before beginning. Find out what is required, what the timeline is, and when a caregiver can begin.
6. What is the agency portion of the fee and how much does the caregiver receive?
You don’t want an underpaid caregiver. Find out how much of what you’re paying goes to the agency, and how much goes to the caregiver.
7. Do your providers work with long term care insurance providers?
Not all agencies have experience or systems designed to work well with long term care insurance providers. Pick a company that works with the insurance your loved one has.
8. What is your caregiver evaluation process?
Find out how the company evaluates their caregivers. What does that process entail? Are evaluators going to be accompanying the caregiver to your loved ones’ home?
9. Will my loved one have the same caregiver each time and if there is a change will that be communicated ahead of time?
You want your loved one to know who to expect. Will a caregiver (or two or three) be assigned? Will there be random providers showing up? You want to make sure your expectations for communication and reliable providers are in alignment with the practices of the home care agency you choose.
10. What do their services include?
What does your loved one need help with? Make sure those services are included in the cost. If they aren’t, can you add on additional services for a fee?
11. Do I need to submit claims to the insurance?
There’s a ton of paperwork involved in submitting care-giving claims to the long term care insurance company. Find out if that’s a task you need to undertake, or if the agency handles it for you.
12. What happens if the caregiver doesn’t show up?
Learn what policies are in place to ensure your loved one has a caregiver even in the event of sickness or a no-show.
13. How do your caregivers handle emergencies?
When you’re providing care for someone, there’s always the possibility of an emergency. Find out what training the company gives to caregivers to help them handle these situations appropriately.
14. What happens if a caregiver isn’t a good fit?
Most companies try to make a good match before placing a caregiver. But, it doesn’t always work out. What is the process if your loved one just doesn’t like one of the caregivers? Can you select a new one?
15. If I have concerns about the level of care, what do I do?
If you suspect something is going on, you need to know the process for reporting it. Find out how the agency handles non-compliance reports, and what their investigation entails.
These questions will help you make an informed decision about in-home care companies for your loved one.
At Green Tree Home Care, we are happy to answer any question you have about home care and your loved one.