While there are many reputable in-home care agencies out there, not all are right for you. It is important to carefully weigh your options when seeking in-home care services for your loved one to ensure that the agency you choose is able to meet your needs and budget restrictions. You may also want to gather advice and insight from family, friends, and your loved one’s physician to determine what type of in-home care is best suited for the person. Some aging adults require more direct care than others, and not all in-home care agencies provide the same level of support.
Step 1: Know Where to Look
Finding a quality in-home care agency is half the battle. If you are unfamiliar with this type of service, it may be helpful to ask friends and family. People that you know may be able to provide you with recommendations for the best in-home care agencies in your local area. Maybe a co-worker has a mom who received in-home care or perhaps a close friend has a parent who receives these services. If you do not have luck with word-of-mouth recommendations, search online for reviews and testimonials. A quick Google search can provide you with information about local in-home care agencies.
Step 2: Ensure the Company Is Reputable
You do not want a random stranger caring for your loved one. Take the time to ensure that the caregiver you choose is reputable and has the qualifications you are looking for. Know that while working with a self-employed caregiver may be cheaper, going through an in-home care agency is often a safer option. Caregivers who work for agencies typically go through extensive background checks to ensure that a trust-worthy person is taking care of your loved one. You also want to check that the agency meets all local certification requirements.
Step 3: Settle on a Budget
While your choice of an in-home care agency should not be exclusively dependent on your budget, how much you can realistically afford for services will inevitably play a role. It is important to understand how in-home care costs are broken down. First, price is primarily based on the number of hours that the care worker spends with the senior, as well as the type of services provided. Some states are also more expensive than others. When determining your budget, consider the hourly rates of local in-home care agencies, as well as daily and overnight rates to see which is best suited for you.
Step 4: Schedule an Interview
Once you have narrowed down your potential choices for an in-home care agency, you will want to progress to the interview phase. Always take the time to conduct an interview with your potential in-home care provider to ensure that your loved one is in good hands. Start by asking what types of specific services are offered, such as help with ADLs, dementia care, or respite services. You can also ask for references from previous clients, as well as proof of insurance and other certifications.
Other questions to ask the prospective in-home care agency include:
- Are the caregivers experienced or do you provide training when you hire them?
- How do you test the competency of your caregivers?
- Do you perform background checks on your caregivers, check credentials, and test them for drug use on a routine basis?
- Will my loved one receive a consistent caregiver, or will there be different people in the home?
- How do you determine if a caregiver is a good fit for a senior?
- Do you oversee all in-home care services?
Step 5: Talk About a Care Plan
It can be helpful to gauge exactly how your loved one will be cared for by asking the in-home care agency that you are considering how they would approach a care plan. After telling the agency about your loved one, their unique needs, and their level of independence, listen for how the agency would meet these needs. A care plan should be detailed to ensure that nothing is overlooked. The agency you choose should also be respectful of your wishes regarding privacy and direct care services.
Step 6: Communicate with Family
If other family members currently take on active roles in caring for your loved one, be sure to include them in the decision when choosing an in-home care agency. Some family members may want to continue caring for the person part-time reducing the number of hours needed for in-home care services. It is important for families to work together throughout the process to ensure that everyone is on the same page. This can help seniors better adapt to in-home care services and prevent stress and ill feelings between family members.
Step 7: Understand Your Options
There are a number of options for senior care with the most common being skilled nursing, assisted living, and in-home care. A skilled nursing facility provides round-the-clock care for patients in a facility that offers constant monitoring. Assisted living facilities provide custodial care or assistance with day-to-day living. The biggest difference between these care services is that in-home care allows seniors to remain in the comfort of their own home, while skilled nursing and assisted living facilities force seniors to move into housing with other seniors. Instead of one-on-one care provided through in-home care, all seniors in these facilities receive care from a small group of care professionals.
Learn More About In-Home Care
Finding the right caregiver for your loved one is never an easy choice. However, it can be overwhelming to take on all care responsibilities on your own. By hiring an in-home care agency, you can get some relief from your caregiving duties while your loved one continues to receive the very best care possible. For more information about in-home care services or how to choose the right in-home care agency for your loved one, speak to the professionals at Comfort Home Care.