What families should look for in an in-home care provider

Questions to Ask a Home Care Agency
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Deciding to start in-home care for a loved one can be difficult for some families. But finding the right person to actually provide that care can be even harder. There are a lot of agencies out there, and to get the best possible care for your loved one, you need to do your homework. Before you let someone into your home, here’s a quick rundown on what families should look for in an in-home care provider.

The right services

When choosing an in-home care provider, make sure they offer the specific services your loved one needs. While this may sound obvious, figuring out exactly what a company provides can be more difficult than it seems. For example, many service providers will advertise “in-home nursing care.” But there’s a big difference between the responsibilities of “duty nursing” compared to “skilled nursing.” If you don’t know the difference, you could end up with a service that doesn’t meet your needs. So, before you sign anything, ask detailed questions and make sure you know exactly what you’re getting in your care plan.

Licensed organization

The state of Minnesota requires all in-home care providers to be licensed. So, start with the basics and make sure that any organization you consider has the proper state license before contracting services. If you will be working with a social worker or some other licensed professional, make sure they have the proper individual credentials as well.

Employee screening and training

You’re doing your homework before you let someone come into your home. Make sure any agency you consider did the same. Ask what kind of employee screening process the organization uses to ensure that home care staff don’t come with any red flags. Along with an initial screening, you can also ask what kind of training process employees go through before they are permitted to work in the home.

Meeting your staff

Knowing employees have been properly vetted by your service provider is one thing. But it’s a whole other thing to meet the individual for yourself. Look for an in-home care provider that allows you to meet with the specific individual(s) who will be providing care before beginning service. If you can, try to meet as many of the other members of the care team as well. This may not always be possible at large organizations with a high number of staff. So, if having that familiarity is important to you, look for a slightly smaller organization that can provide a more personal experience.

Lines of communication

Providing quality care for seniors often requires a collaborative approach between families and their care teams. So, communication is critical. When reviewing a prospective agency, try to get a sense for how lines of communication will be maintained when working with them. Who can you call if you have questions or concerns? Who would the home health worker call if they had questions? Is there a health professional on call 24/7? Answering these questions now will help you get a better sense of what it will truly mean to contract services through that organization.

Cost and insurance

If you’re going to start receiving in-home care, you’re going to need a way to pay for it. The vast majority of service providers accept insurance, but every organization is different in exactly what they’ll accept. So, ask questions of both the agency and your own insurance provider to make sure care is covered. If you plan on using Medicare or Medicaid to pay for services, make sure the agency is certified for those programs as well.

Home care can be the perfect way to get seniors the care and service they need without having to leave the home they love. As the family of a senior in need of care, do your due diligence and take time to assess all of your options before committing. Taking a deliberate, methodical approach to evaluating agencies is the best way to find one that meets your needs and the needs of your senior.

Ready to set up in-home care for someone you know? Contact Pinnacle Home Care today to see why our wide range of services could be perfect for the senior in your life.