Choosing an in-home care provider for your loved one can seem like an enormous task; there were 58,500 long-term care providers serving nearly 5 million in-home health care recipients in 2012 alone. That’s a lot of agencies to evaluate!
However, the process of selecting your in-home care provider doesn’t have to be cumbersome. Use the guidelines below to jump start your search in the right direction:
- Ask for references. One of the top ranking concerns involved with finding an in-home care provider is safety and professionalism. Ask agencies or providers for three or more references up front to allay these concerns from the very beginning; any reputable provider will be able to produce several recent, happy clients with ease.
- Find out how individual providers are recruited. Agencies source their employees through a variety of means — make sure the agencies you consider put their providers through a rigorous application process to end up with the best employees possible. Ask about background checks, drug tests, and performance reviews to gain a better understanding of how the agency you’re interviewing selects the employees who will be assisting your loved one.
- Determine how fees will be assessed upfront. Budget is another major factor involved with finding an in-home care provider. Determine exactly how fees will be assessed by any agency you consider by asking how care plans are created, how the agency bills clients, what the typical pricing structure consists of, if payment plans are available, and if each charge will be explained and agreed upon prior to being incurred.
- Assess emergency plans. There’s always the risk of an emergency situation, and you’ll want to confirm that your chosen in-home care provider has a plan in place ahead of time. Ask about what would constitute an emergency, how they would proceed in such a situation, and how they would notify the appropriate family member(s).
- Communicate exactly how complaints are handled. As with any working relationship, issues may arise from time to time. Resolutions can be expedited when both the agency and client are clear on how issues can be reported and resolved, both during business hours and outside of business hours. Determine exactly who handles complaints, which communication channels they prefer, and what the general time frame for acceptable resolutions is.
You’re well on your way to finding the in-home care provider you deserve using the above points — but we want to hear from you! What were the top questions and telling signs you’ve used to select a caregiver?