When it’s time to choose a home health agency you want to ensure that you’re making the best decision for your loved one. While some families have more time to search for the perfect home care provider, others may need to make a quick decision. Whatever your timeline, knowing what questions to ask home health agencies can help make the selection process easier. Consider asking a home health care provider the following questions to help you make a sound decision that ensures your loved one is safe and cared for appropriately.
1) Do you offer home care services that meet my loved one’s needs?
The first thing to consider when choosing a home health care agency is whether the provider offers the services your loved one requires. Think about every actual care need and write them all down. What would a typical day look like for a caregiver? Would they need to perform certain medical services and provide meals? What about transportation or errands? Will the caregiver need to be there early in the morning or at bedtime?
Knowing exactly what you need covered can help you filter out the agencies that don’t provide the services you need. A good rule of thumb is to look for a home health care agency that offers a wide array of services in case your loved one’s needs change. Selecting a home health provider that offers the following senior care options will ensure you have all of your bases covered:
- Companion Home Care
- Personal Home Care
- Home Health Nursing
- Home Health Aides
- Home Health Physical Therapy
- Home Health Occupational Therapy
- Home Health Speech Therapy
- Home Health Social Workers
2) Are your home caregivers employees or contractors?
It’s important to know whether a home health care agency works with contractors or hires employees. One of the best ways to ensure quality of care and safety is to work with a provider that employs their caregivers. Not only are employees more reliable and paid competitively, they must also adhere to the company’s values. Employee caregivers will also protect you from any liability if they sustain an injury or abuse on the job.
3) Are your employees certified and qualified to perform the necessary care my loved one requires?
Knowing that your loved one is left in capable, compassionate hands will give you peace of mind. A high-quality home health care agency will only employ caregivers who meet the following requirements:
- Have a high school diploma or G.E.D.
- Have a current CPR certification
- Have previous caregiving experience
- Possess required licenses or certifications (e.g. Certified Home Health Aide, RN, LPN, etc.)
- Can read, write, and speak English
- Can lift 25 pounds
- Possess a valid driver’s license and insured automobile
4) Do you perform background checks on employees?
Criminal background checks of employees are especially important in a home caregiving situation. Detailed background screenings should be performed by your chosen home health care agency to ensure your loved one is safe and met with honest, compassionate care.
5) Do you have worker’s compensation & liability insurance?
The last thing you or your loved one will want to worry about is on-the-job accidents. If you hire an independent contractor, you will be responsible for the liability risk of your caregiver and your loved one. This could cause severe financial hardship. Choosing a home health agency who employs their caregivers will ensure that both worker’s compensation and liability insurance protect you if your caregiver sustains injuries while providing care. Worker’s compensation is especially important if you or other family members don’t live close enough to monitor the care of your loved one.
6) Do you have a business license?
It’s important for a senior home health care agency to hold all required licenses to run their business legally. Your chosen agency should have a state business license to guarantee that they are held accountable for their actions and that the financial health of the company is in good standing.
7) Are your caregivers supervised?
A high-quality home health care agency will provide companion care services under the direct supervision of a registered nurse. The nurse will oversee the care plan for your loved one, accompany the caregiver on supervisory visits, and make certain that your loved one’s caregiver remains qualified, capable, and compassionate. Caregiver supervision is also essential for working through any performance issues that may arise.
8) Do your senior home caregivers receive special training?
Your chosen home health agency should not only hire compassionate caregivers but ensure that each caregiver completes initial and ongoing training. These special training programs will go beyond basic caregiving skills to help your loved one’s caregiver advance their skill set to provide the highest quality of in-home care.
9) How long have you been in the caregiving business?
It’s important to choose a home health care provider that has been in the caregiving business for a number of years and only employs experienced caregivers. This will ensure that your loved one receives expert in-home care — whether they need a home health nurse, aide, senior companion, or therapy services.
10) Are you a local company?
While there are many home health care agencies, some are larger chains with offices all over the United States. Other agencies in your area may only work with caregivers who are independent contractors. You can make certain that you are giving back to local businesses and your loved one receives individualized care by choosing a home health agency that is local to your community. My Family Home Health Care in Akron, Ohio is a family-owned home health care agency that offers our clients nearly 15 years of combined experience. Because we are local, we can deliver personalized care plans in the comfort of your loved one’s home.
Your Home Health Agency in Akron, Ohio
At My Family Home Health Care, it is our goal to help your family get the best in-home care possible. Our locally-owned agency will work closely with your family to create a comprehensive in-home health care plan based on the individual needs of your loved one. Contact us today for a home health care assessment.