Many of us will be faced with the task of finding someone to provide extended care for a loved one. Often, the need arises suddenly because of an unexpected illness, recovery from a surgical procedure or simply a decline in health. Would you know what steps to take to find the right person or company to fit your needs?
Your research should begin with you asking lots of questions. Ask friends and family members for their recommendations. Ask health care professionals for their guidance. Check with your local aging agency to find out what services they may be able to offer. Once you figure out what services and level of care you you are looking for, you will want to interview the facilities, care providers or agencies. That means asking more questions.
Here are just a few to get you started:
- Is the agency licensed by the state, certified by Medicare, bonded and insured?
- Can the agency provide references from doctors, discharge planners, clients and their families?
- Will you get to interview the people who will be providing care prior to them starting? Will you be able to specify a preference for a male or female caregiver? What if you don’t feel comfortable with the assigned caregiver?
- What arrangements are made for a substitute caregiver if your regular person is not available?
- How do supervisors monitor and evaluate the quality of care provided by the caregiver?
- What are the hiring practices of the agency? Do they do thorough background checks on all employees? How do they find their employees?
- Can the care provider provide references? Are the caregivers licensed and insured?
- How does the agency train caregivers? Are they certified in CPR and first aid?
- How does the agency handle billing? How are the hours tracked?