Everybody Says They Offer Quality Home Care... But How Do You Really Know the Difference?
By Greg Adair, Founder of Affordable HomeCare
Home care companies abound but not all are created equal. Quality is easy to claim but how do you really know your loved one is getting the care they deserve?
Here are 5 questions to ask your prospective home care provider. They will help guide you in making an educated decision before you decide to trust the care of your loved one to just any company.
How much experience should your caregiver have?
Caregivers should have at least 3 years of prior professional experience. This is critical because...
- You don't want someone practicing on your loved one.
- You want someone with a mature understanding of the issues you and your family face.
- You want well-trained caregivers who are both confident and compassionate.
Does the home care company provide formal training to its employees? If so, what is it?
Some home care companies hire caregivers and simply put them into service without training. If nothing goes wrong they may skate through. Formal training is important. This shows up in how the caregiver handles the out of the ordinary situations with your loved one.
Ask potential home care companies if caregivers are formally trained in topics such as...
- Dementia Speciality
- Hospice Care
- Hospital Avoidance
Look for companies who require continual education programs for caregivers including a scholarship for those who wish to pursue a formal, higher education. Knowledgeable staff provides better care for your loved one.
Does a manager personally visit the home periodically?
Ask your home care company if they do periodic visits. Ask them, who are the second set of eyes ensuring excellent care?
We'd all like to believe that all caregivers do what is necessary when caring for your loved one. Even with good systems and controls that an excellent home care company puts into place, nothing can replace an unannounced visit conducted by a Nurse.
Active management communication is the key to increasing the quality of care given to your loved one
Is the home care company actively involved in Professional Organizations?
Being involved in professional organizations like the Home Care Association of America indicates the company demonstrates an active interest in staying on top of important issues and promotes quality standards for the home care industry.
Does the home care company have a good rating with the Better Business Bureau?
Things sometimes go wrong. The Better Business Bureau keeps records of customer complaints and resolutions. If a home care company does not have a good rating, you may wonder if they are hiding something.
Highly rated companies are serious about high standards and have a true desire to resolve customer complaints promptly. For the ultimate care of your loved one and peace of mind check with your local bureau before you make a decision to go with any home care company.