5 Critical Questions You Must Ask Home Care Providers

Choosing to seek out home care for yourself or your loved one can be a long, involved process. You have to find an agency that fits within your budget while also providing quality, safe care. Here are 5 critical questions you must ask home care providers before hiring an agency to ensure you get the best provider for your needs:

1. How do you choose your care providers?

Some agencies do not have an involved application process for their workers. This is unfortunate, and the clients often lose out on quality of care or their own safety when cared for by someone who isn’t qualified or properly trained. You want to find an agency that seeks out employees with healthcare degrees or experience in the field and who have a passion for helping others. An agency’s screening process should include criminal background checks, drug testing, and reference checks. They should put their workers through extensive training, and there should be a process for ongoing training and education.

2. Do you work with me/my loved one and doctors to develop a plan of care?

The best, most effective care plans are created with the full involvement of the client, his or her family, his or her doctors, and the home care agency. But some agencies don’t want to take the time to coordinate all this input and develop an individualized plan, so they have standard care plans for everyone. You want to find an agency that will work with you to provide the best level of care and the best possibility of improvement in health or quality of life.

3. How do you choose what care worker is assigned to my/my loved one’s case?

Some agencies randomly assign care workers, giving new clients to the providers with less on their schedules or who reside closer to the client. This can lead to a mismatch in personalities, which can make developing the client-caregiver relationship difficult and hamper any progress. Ask the agency for their process on pairing clients and caregivers; they should have an official document or, at the very least, an easily explainable process. The client’s needs and personality, as well as the personality and caregiving style of the provider, should be taken into account when making these matches.

4. How do you evaluate your care workers?

Because the care home providers give is usually done when others aren’t around, getting a feel for how he or she is doing can be difficult. Most agencies have formal evaluation processes, similar to those found in many other work environments, but not all of these reviews include an observation of a care worker in action. Find out if the agencies you’re looking into offer the ability to have a supervisor observe the care provided to you or your loved one, and how feedback on these sessions is integrated into your care plan.

5. What happens if the care worker has an emergency and cannot work that day, or if he or she doesn’t show up?

Even the best, most reliable care provider gets ill or has a flat tire. This can be inconvenient in the best of situations, and dangerous or life-threatening in the worst. Find out when phones at your agency are manned each day, and how quickly you can expect a return call if an absence is reported. Many of the best agencies automatically call clients or reassign providers if a regular care worker calls in for the day, so you may never even know there was a problem until a different face shows up at the door.

Experienced, Quality Home Care in Maryland

At ThriveUSA, we pride ourselves on offering only the best, highest-quality care to our clients, no matter their individual needs. We strive to find the most qualified care providers and offer personalized care to each of our clients. Contact us today to see how our Personal Care Coaches can help you or your loved one set goals, make progress, and thrive.

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