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Taking the Guesswork Out of Choosing a Home Care Agency

If someone you love is no longer able to remain safe and adequately handle the tasks of daily living, it may be a good time to consider working with a local home care agency. A caregiver can visit periodically to provide customized levels of assistance. As a result, your loved one can retain as much of their independence as possible and you can feel at ease knowing they are in good hands. Continue reading to learn more about how to find the right agency for your situation.

The Preliminary Phase

Chances are you know someone that is going through a similar situation or has dealt with an aging loved one in the past. Begin by asking them about their experiences and ask for a recommendation. A negative review from this group is just as helpful as a glowing one! When you have narrowed it down to the companies you feel confident about, contact them to learn more about their services, how long they have been in business, what options they offer, are there contracts or minimum hours for visits, and ask what makes them different/better than other home care companies. This is the beginning of a relationship that could be ongoing; can you see yourself working with this company? It is also a good idea to inquire about how they will determine the level of service you require. In many cases, you can request a face-to-face meeting to iron out the details, after your initial phone inquiry.

Learning More about the Caregivers

Ideally, the caregiver you hire will become an extension of your family. That means it is crucial to get details about things such as how much work experience the caregivers have, whether they have received relevant certifications, and gone through extensive background checks. Ask whether caregivers have received clean bills of health, too.

Understanding Your Role

Explain to the company’s representative or Care Coordinator what your family’s needs are. Understand specifically the “Scope of Care” that the caregiver can provide, and be sure that the care matches your needs. Sometimes relationships deteriorate when the home care company thinks one thing and you think another. Open dialogue will help prevent a communications breakdown.

Clarify what happens in case of an after-hours emergency. Is there a person available 24 hours/day? This is important for those unforeseen events that come up at the last minute.

The suggestions here should be helpful in guiding that all-important process of choosing a caregiver for a loved one who is having trouble managing some daily tasks because of advanced age or a disability. Making a choice isn’t easy, but putting in the effort and finding the right company the first time will help you’re your stress levels down and will pay off in the long run.

Capital City Nurses was established in 1976 as a resource for people seeking private duty care, medication management, nursing, and assistance in home for clients in Maryland, Washington DC and Virginia. For more information, check out our infographic, and to get details about how we can meet your home care needs, browse our website.

Posted on
March 24, 2014