Choosing a Home Care Company

Posted on August 27, 2013 by ecrBayArea in Home Care Non-Medical

Submitted by: Robert Nations, Senior Helpers North Bay

Last month we discussed the two types of in-home care:

In-Home Non Medical Care – Companionship care – meal preparation, light housekeeping, med reminders, errands / transportation, fall prevention, overall companionship. This type of care is usually done by a nursing assistant or trained companion. Personal care – bathing, dressing, transferring, incontinence, Alzheimer’s & dementia care. This type of care is usually handled by a certified nursing assistant (CNA)

  • Home Health Care Services – This type of care is referred as “skilled care” because it requires a trained, licensed medical professional. This type of care is usually limited based on Medicare and MediCal restrictions. Nursing, Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy and Speech Therapy.

    This month let’s examine how to choose a company. Once you determine the type of care needed, you should make a list of companies in your area that offer those services. As you begin the process of calling companies, you should be prepared to ask the following questions:

    • What services do you offer?
    • Are you available 24/7?
    • Is your staff employees or does the agency work as a placement agency for independent contractors?
    • Do you complete background checks? What type of background checks you conduct?
    • Are your caregivers bonded?
    • Do you provide ongoing training for your caregivers?
    • What is the procedure if a caregiver does not report to work?
    • Can a different person be requested if caregiver is not a good fit?
    • What are the costs?
    • How does the company bill for services?
    • Is there a written plan of care? Is the family involved in creating the plan of care?
    • What happens if there is a client problem or complaint?

    You have narrowed the list down to a couple of companies. It’s now time to set up an appt for an assessment of your loved one.

    • Will the company complete the assessment in the home for free?
    • Do they provide a safety check of the home?
    • Do you have to sign a contract? What is their cancellation policy?
    • Can you change the service level based on a change of care needed?

    The final step is evaluating the phone interview and the assessment.

    • Did the company arrive on time?
    • Did they present themselves in professional manner in person and on the phone?
    • Did the answer all your questions?

    My recommendation, you should hire the company you think you can trust. Price is a factor however it should never be the sole reason you hire person or company to help with your loved one.