Home Health Care Services – Q & A

What do you anticipate from a quality home care agency? When initially inspect various home care agencies, there are at least five questions that should be asked. You can reasonably expect a competent home care agency to protect you as a person and your dignity while caring for you and your family. Additionally, there are more than enough dedicated staff to ensure that you get a reliable, low cost service.

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Q. How will the agency get my elderly loved one to his or her recovery state? A. The first thing that you want to discover when searching out an agency is whether they have a specific plan that involves a specified method of transport for the patient. This is particularly pertinent if the client is confined to a wheelchair or is mobility-challenged.


Q. How much training and education does the agency have in order to provide the best home care services? A. You need to know that there are agencies out there that hire licensed nurses with appropriate background in order to provide for your elderly loved ones.


Q. How many home health aides or skilled caregivers are on duty at any given time? A. Most agencies have an obligation to make certain that at least one registered nurse or one other licensed health care professional is on duty at all times.


Q. What types of home health care services are provided by the agency? A. Most agencies provide general and routine care such as companionship, housekeeping, light housekeeping, transportation between home and care facilities, bathing, dressing, exercise guidance and assistance with grooming.


Q. Is the agency run by an independent contractor or does it hire staff? A. Many agencies do hire staff, but much more work under an independent contractor model – one that gives them more of an incentive to provide quality care since the agency no longer needs to pay for overhead, marketing, training and other expenses that come with employing its own staff.


Q. What are registries? A. Most agencies allow their clients to submit a list of individuals who visit their home on a regular basis. These are called “registries” – just like in health care regimens, they keep a list of doctors, therapists, dentists, eye surgeons, lawyers, coaches, children’s hospitals, nursing homes, mental health centers, substance abuse programs, home health care agencies and others.


Q. Does the agency screen its employees? A. A great majority of home care agencies do screen their employees – both criminal and non criminal. This ensures that the caregivers who are placed in those positions have proper qualifications.


Q. Are there any age limitations? A. Yes! Some agencies place their most vulnerable elderly and disabled elderly caregivers into a waiting list so that newer candidates may be selected. Others place their aging seniors and handicapped into a waiting list based on their dependency on care-giver, length of stay in the home and other factors.


Q. How do you choose between agencies? A. There are many choices available for you when deciding where to take care of your loved one – let’s face it. You want someone reliable, yet not overbearing, or someone caring with kindness but also understanding the depth of the situation.


Q. What is the difference between a permanent caregiver (which is the person who stays in the home once the family member or adult is no longer competent) and a temporary caregiver (someone who come in frequently and take over care of the senior or disabled adult while they are away at work, on vacation or otherwise unable to care for themselves)? A. The difference between these two types of caregivers is that a permanent caregiver is on a fixed contract through a home care agency; while a temporary caregiver is only hired for specific periods of time.


Q. Is hiring a home care agency right for my loved ones? A. No, it is not right for every family member. However, if your loved ones require constant adult supervision (and often require around the clock care), then a home care agency may be the best solution.


Q. How do you find good home health care agencies? A. The easiest way to find one is by doing an online search. You can visit numerous websites to learn about different agencies and the quality of their care.

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