How to Select the Right Home Care Agency for Your Loved Ones

Elechi Emekobum By Elechi Emekobum 8 Min Read
selecting the right home care agency

Most elders wish to grow old in a place where they can remain connected with their family and friends. So, how do you select the right home care agency for your loved ones?

This is why home healthcare assistant is essential as they help manage elders’ special needs at home. When working with home healthcare aides, you can either engage one directly or through a home healthcare agency.

The advantage of working with an agency is that it assumes the risk by screening and qualifying the right candidates to care for your loved one.

SEE ALSO: How To Choose The Best Health Insurance Policy To Meet Your Needs

But before you engage an agency, it’s important to be aware of your specific needs. Once you have analyzed your needs, you are ready to research various home care agencies to identify the right one. The selection process has three main stages.

  • Screening of potential home care agencies
  • Evaluation of short-listed home care agencies
  • Monitoring the agency’s quality of care

[#1]. Screening potential home care agencies

Before zeroing in on a home care agency to work with, you may want to review a few different home care agencies. You can gauge the suitability of a home care agency by asking the following questions.

Selecting the Right Home Care Agency for Your Loved Ones
Selecting the Right Home Care Agency for Your Loved Ones
[#1]. Is the home care agency Medicare or Medicaid-certified?

This is not only a means to judge capability but also to evaluate affordability. Your loved one may be eligible for Medicare or Medicaid financing if their affliction and financial status meet certain criteria.

[#2]. Is the home care agency Medicare or Medicaid-certified?

This is not only a means to judge capability but also to evaluate affordability. Your loved one may be eligible for Medicare or Medicaid financing if their affliction and financial status meet certain criteria.

If you have a direct recommendation from a health worker who’s aware of your loved one’s condition, then the agency can probably be trusted with the services that you desire.

 
[#4]. Does the home care agency offer services that you’re looking for?

For instance, if your loved one requires chemotherapy, find out if the agency in question has aides certified in conducting chemo sessions at home. You can also check if the agency offers services such as cooking and cleaning if that’s something you’re searching for.

Ideally, you want to work with a home healthcare agency that isn’t entangled in any legal scuffles.

[#6]. Do they conduct sufficient background checks into people hired?

Since a home healthcare aide has to work within your ward’s home, you have to be certain that they are responsible and can be trusted.

[#7]. Can the agency’s home healthcare aides speak English?

Since a home healthcare aide is charged with the responsibilities of managing medicine and medical emergencies, they should be able to effectively communicate with your elderly relative.

how to select the Right Home Care Agency for Your Loved Ones

[#2]. Evaluation of shortlisted home healthcare agencies

Once you have identified a list of agencies that satisfy your preliminary criteria, it’s time to evaluate each of them in-depth. You can do so by asking the following questions.

[#1]. What method does the agency use to assess an elder’s needs?

This stage will determine the quality of care that an agency provides to its clients. Most agencies send someone over to your house to carefully analyze a client’s requirements.

Although you may be aware of the elder’s needs, it’s essential for the agency also to have a set process of doing this. Your loved one’s needs may vary over time, and you can’t analyze them yourself each time. Since you need to rely on the agency for this purpose, it’s important that you trust in their process.

[#2]. What training do the agency’s home healthcare aides undergo?

Ask what training the agency recommends for its healthcare aides. Understand how caregivers are taught to identify symptoms and provide assistance. Figure out how reporting and analysis work in the agency.

[#3]. How relevant are the caregivers assigned to patients?

If your loved one has Alzheimer’s or a heart condition, it’s important for the agency to assign someone who has experience with the same type of client. Understand if the agency has specialized equipment required for your loved one’s condition.

[#4]. What services does the agency offer?

Sometimes, home healthcare aides who can cook and clean aren’t capable of managing medicines or medical emergencies.

[#5]. How does the agency create a care plan and supervise its healthcare aide?

The quality of care provided by a home healthcare agency directly depends on the healthcare plan that they create. A crucial part of that healthcare plan is how the agency typically supervises its caregivers. An agency can only assure quality care if they’re stringent in monitoring aides and keeping them on their toes.

 
[#6]. How does payment work?

Is the agency affordable? Do they take payment methods that enable you to leverage different financing options that make quality care more affordable? Will you get receipts? Can they be used for tax benefits?

It’s also useful to understand how much the agency is paying their aides to check if they’re likely to be responsible. However, you should always remember to check if the home healthcare agency has liability/malpractice insurance.


[#3]. Monitoring the agency’s quality of care

Your job doesn’t end once you have chosen a home healthcare agency. You now have to monitor the quality of care being provided to ensure that it’s suitable for your loved one’s needs. Check how the aide is treating your loved one. Monitor whether medication and nutrition are being managed effectively.

Also, you need to understand how well the aide is communicating with your loved one. Use these criteria to decide if you want to permanently engage this agency or switch to another one of your shortlisted options.

Nowadays, choosing the right home healthcare agency for your loved ones is extremely important. It’s the best way to offer your loved one quality care and rest of mind.

Evaluating a home healthcare agency may seem like a time-consuming process, but it’s worth the effort in the long run. The right home healthcare agency may well be the most affordable, risk-free way to manage elder healthcare.


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Elechi Emekobum is into health and social care. She loves blogging, content writing, social media, branding, travelling, gadgets, and health products. Check out her other articles on Hotelsrepublic.com and follow her on Twitter.
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