When it’s time for a little day-to-day assistance, most older adults wish to age in place in the comfort of home; however, when assistance is needed, shopping for in-home care can be a bit overwhelming. How can you tell a bad agency from a good agency, or a good agency from a great one? What important things do you need to know about the services a home care agency provides?
The senior care experts at Regency Home Care of Georgia have compiled some of the top questions you should ask when interviewing home care agencies, including:
- How long has your home care agency been in business? While the number of years a home care agency has been in business doesn’t always mean their care is the best, it does reflect on the stability and success of the company.
- Can you tell me about your home care agency’s background and the experience of your owner? You’ll want to look into the history and ownership of the home care agency. What type of license do they have? What type of background and experience do the owner and/or manager have? Is the company reputable and in good standing? Does it have any accreditations?
- Are your caregivers employed by the home care agency or are they contractors? This is an important question for your own protection, as caregivers who are employed by the home care agency will be covered by the agency for things like workers’ compensation should an accident happen while the caregiver is in your or your loved one’s home. If the home care agency only utilizes independent contractors, you may be responsible for paying taxes, workers’ compensation, and other costs.
- How are your caregivers screened? It may come as a surprise, but not all home care agencies perform background checks when hiring caregivers, and some only perform the bare minimum. Ask how extensive their background checks are and if they include things like drug testing, criminal history, and driving records.
- Do your caregivers receive training? Find out if caregivers’ credentials are investigated during the hiring process and what kinds of training they receive once hired.
- How are your caregivers supervised? Some agencies make scheduled quality assurance calls and visits to clients’ homes and may even interview the client about his or her caregiver.
- Will my loved one and our family have input into the care plan? Your loved one’s care plan should address any definite needs, like mobility assistance, bathing and dressing, transportation, etc., but it should also take into account your loved one’s wishes, likes, and dislikes so that he or she feels fully comfortable and satisfied with the care process.
- How does your home care agency follow up on/resolve problems or complaints? Even the highest quality home care agencies in the Atlanta area experience bumps along the road, but it’s how those bumps get resolved that really speak to the home care agency’s quality. Make sure the agency you choose has a solid conflict resolution plan in place.
- How are caregivers assigned? The most important thing is that your loved one feels comfortable with his or her caregiver. Ask if you will be able to interview caregivers before they are assigned.
- What happens if my loved one’s caregiver is sick or cannot report to her shift? Caregivers get sick or have to take off work for family emergencies just like the rest of us, but it is important that your chosen home care agency has a plan in place to ensure your loved one is attended to if and when this happens.
Choosing the right Atlanta home care agency can feel overwhelming, but asking the right questions can help you get a better feeling for each agency you interview, and often you’ll just know when it feels right. If you have any questions about home care services in the metro Atlanta area or if you’d like to talk to someone from our staff to learn more about the home care process, contact Regency Home Care today! We’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have!