Finding a good home care agency can be a daunting task. The nurses, therapists, caregivers, doctors, and other staff will be the people that are in your home taking care of your loved ones. That is why it is a vitally important to identify a trustworthy, compassionate, and knowledgeable home care company.
Home Care Tip #1: What Type of Home Care do I need?
To find the right home care agency you will need to determine what types of in-home care you need. Home care services may range from a few weeks after a hospital stay…to long-term care for permanent or more serious ailments. Home care patients may transition through different types of care as they become more medically dependent. It is good to have a home care agency that can cover you through these transitions without having to start over with a new company. It is a good idea to find an agency that has all of the services listed below.
Essential Home Care Services:
Home health care is medical services for patients in the comfort of their or a loved ones home. Home health care may include professional services from nurses, home health aides, physical therapists and other professionals. Home health care can help elderly patients keep there independence, have a fuller life, and allow them to stay in familiar surroundings.
Palliative Care focuses on the comfort of the patient. Constant pain can lead to a person feeling defeated and unstable. These types of feelings can have serious effects on a Palliative Care patient’s ability to live their lives. This is why Palliative Care professionals help patients to reduce or eliminate pain and other symptoms, such as nausea, difficulty sleeping, anxiety during treatment and recovery from serious illness and surgery.
Hospice Care is the personal medical care for the terminally ill. Hospice care focuses on the treatments needed for serious illnesses like Alzheimer’s, cancer, heart disease, liver disease, kidney disease, AIDS, Parkinson’s, and other terminal diagnoses. Hospice professionals understand the need and desire for a compassionate medical team for last days of a person’s life.
Caregiver Services is assistance for the elderly who need help that is not direct medical services. Caregivers help patients with tasks and chores such as cooking, getting dressed, taking medications, shopping and taking baths or showers safely. A caregiver can be the optimal setting for elderly to maintain independence and continue to live in a familiar setting.
Home Care Tip #2: Finding Out What’s Covered?
Finding out what your insurance will cover is a very important part of determining which services you can get and ultimately which home care company to go with. A good home care agency will help with this process by checking benefits and letting you know what options you have. Medicare, Medi-Cal and private insurance may cover some or all of the in-home care you need. Insurance companies usually require a prescription from your doctor to pay for in-home care. It is good to have your home care agency involved because they will be able to work with you on payment options to ensure you get the services you need.
Home Care Tip #3: Whenever and Wherever You Are
A good home health care agency will be able to cover the services you need anytime and anywhere. You might need medical and non-medical services overnight or on weekends. So make sure the agency you select has 24/7 staffing for the services you need most. There is nothing worse than having a problem in the middle of the night with no one to help.
Be sure the home care agency is also able to serve you wherever you are. If you are in the hospital, a nursing home or an assisted living facility for a short-term or long-term period, you or your loved one will feel more comfortable with familiar faces assisting. Be sure to choose a home care agency that comes to you, wherever you are.
Home Care Tip #4: Ask for a Recommendation
A referral can be very valuable from someone you trust. Be sure to ask your doctor or a hospital social worker for names of home care agencies they trust. You should also talk to friends who have used a home care agency for home health care, palliative care, hospice or caregiver services, for themselves or a spouse, parent or other loved one. There is nothing better then to get a first hand account of the services provided by the home care agency you are considering.
Home Care Tip #5: Are They Licensed and Accredited?
Home care agencies are accredited and licensed by a wide range of state and federal organizations. Some of these organizations will include Medicare, CHAP (Community Health Accreditation Program) and CAHSAH (California Association for Health Services at Home). Call the home care agency that are considering and ask the representative about their current status with these and other organizations or call them directly to confirm.
Home Care Tip #6: Employee Evaluation and Background Checks
In-home care staff will be treating you or your loved one. You will want to be sure that they have been checked out thoroughly. Ask the home care agency about their policies for criminal background checks and other methods they use to screen their employees. Be sure they do criminal background checks, DMV checks, skill tests, and are evaluated by certified a Licensed Vocational Nurse or an experienced caregiver.
Home Care Tip #7: What is Their Reputation?
If you checked with your doctor or the hospital social worker and you still did not get a recommendation, look for the special designations the home care agency has earned. One example is the Home Care Elite Agency in the United States.
Home Care Tip #8: Privately Owned or a Franchise?
Privately owned home care agencies are usually started because they understand the business of home health care and they love helping people. Many private home care companies where even sparked by personal experience or backgrounds in the home health care industry. This sometimes helps with understanding the personal side of the home care and can translate to the services they provide. Other agencies are part of a large multi-state company, overseen by managers that come and go at each location.
If you want a “family feel” from your healthcare provider, choose a smaller, privately owned health care agency like Assisted. Assisted has employees who have remained for many years, offering a more stable and experienced care team. At Assisted, we take care of the members of your family like they were members of our family.