It’s difficult to think of all the important questions to ask when choosing a care provider, but below are some guidelines that may help you assess the best fit for your family.
–If I call on a weekend or after hours, can someone meet with me same day to set up services, or will I be directed to meet with someone the following business day? Sometimes, a loved one may have a fast decline, and the family needs help.
-Do you have someone who works in daily operations available 24/7? Many companies offer services 24/7, but if an issue arises after hours, do they have someone knowledgeable who you have already met, that can effectively handle your concerns? Do they use an answering service, or have on-call supervisors that don’t typically work in day-to-day operations for on call?
-What is the background of your company? Does the owner have experience in the business? Why did they start the company? Do they have a personal story, and/or a mission statement? Search out the history and ownership of the company. What type of license do they have? Find out who owns the company and weigh how the ownership affects the company’s service and reliability.? Is it reputable and in good standing? Is it involved in professional organizations?
-What qualifications, certifications, experience and training do you require of your workers? Find out if caregivers’ credentials are investigated. Plus, determine whether caregivers undergo a thorough, professional testing and screening process. Ask what ongoing training is provided.
-Are your staff employees or contract workers? Are they insured and bonded? Ask about your personal liability and tax obligations if workers are contract employees. For your protection, ensure that all caregivers are insured and bonded by the home care agency.
-How do you supervise your workers to make sure the proper care is given? Some agencies make scheduled quality assurance calls and visits. To further ensure quality care, see that all caregivers are regularly and closely supervised by a qualified company representative.
-Will the same employee continue with my case? It is difficult to receive good care if different people show up every week. A good home care provider will be concerned with continuity of care.
-Do you conduct a home visit before starting the home care service? When choosing the home care services that are right for you, it is important that the patient and family members discuss the kind of care needed with a home care representative. This will help you determine whether the home care provider can meet your needs.
-Do you work with my other care providers to coordinate a plan of care? If you have multiple disciplines involved in yours or your loved ones care, it’s only fair to you that each discipline coordinates with each other to provide the best care possible. Agencies should work directly with your other care team members in arranging and planning for your care.
-Do you guarantee customer satisfaction? Find out if there is a length of time you will be committed to the home care provider even if you are unhappy with the care they are providing. The home care provider should guarantee care and cancel charges for unsatisfactory service.