How to Select a Home Care Provider
After the age of 65, you have a 71.8% chance of needing some form of home care. More of us are living longer, and the management of chronic illness such as heart disease, arthritis and osteoporosis is becoming an integral part of our lives. Hospitals are discharging people sooner and same-day surgery occurs on a regular basis. At least 90% of us, given the option, would prefer to live at home our entire lives, but how do we even start a search for quality care for ourselves or someone we love?
The Best option
First, it is important to rule out situations where home care might not be the best option. These can include difficult behaviors, a partner or spouse who is ill or in distress, a skilled need which a home care aide cannot perform (e.g., diabetic injections), or the desire of the client to move out of his/her home.
Questions to Ask
Once the above factors are ruled out, planning for care in the home can begin. Some questions should be asked before contacting any provider of home care, including the client’s preference for a caregiver’s personality (e.g., would he/she get along better with a quieter person who stays in the background or someone who will remain close by and converse more?), duties the person will perform, hours of care needed and whether a live-in is more appropriate, and an organization’s years of experience and reputation in the community.
Professional Agency vs. Private Care
Working with a professional agency can offer some real advantages. There is a great deal of confusion about differences between hiring a caregiver privately (the client is the employer), locating one from a referral agency (the client is also the employer), and finding one who works for a full service home care agency.
A full service home care agency assumes the following responsibilities
- Workers Compensation Insurance
- General and Professional Liability
- Fidelity Bonding
- Employer/employee payroll withholdings
- Caregiver supervision
- Caregiver training
In addition, a qualified agency will thoroughly screen, select and orient caregivers, conduct a background check on each employee, and be available on call 24 hours a day. A nurse should also do an initial assessment and make regular visits to assure that the care plan is being followed.
Home Care Resources
If there isn’t a family member or capable friend nearby who can navigate the complexities of designing a care plan and setting up home care, a professional care manager is an excellent option. Contact IOA for assistance connecting with a care manager and to discuss available home care services. Call 415.750.4111 to speak to someone today.
Call IOAConnect today to speak with a care professional about IOA services that can help you.
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