Choosing the right in-home care agency for your loved one comes with many questions & options of services a provider can or will offer. But what to choose?
When you call a professional home care agency for support, the entire family benefits – from an improved level of care and security, reduced stress, and enhanced quality of relationships. But how do you choose the right agency? As you explore your options, discuss these questions with your family and agencies you contact:
- Presence – Do you need support for just a few hours a week or every day and through the night?
- Independence – How important is being able to live in familiar surroundings, with respect for one’s privacy and dignity, in an environment that encourages an individual to thrive? Studies have shown a positive relationship between independent living and speed of recovery.
- Personal care – What sort of help is needed to foster emotional and physical well-being, such as meal preparation, transportation, housekeeping, or companionship? If support is needed in the areas of mobility or hygiene, call on someone who has the training to help with tasks such as getting in and out of the bed, bathtub or wheelchair safely.
- Medical care – How complex are medical needs? Could you use help keeping track of medications, keeping up with physical therapy exercises, managing diabetes, or tube feeding? Has a medical professional come to the home, completed a full assessment, and drawn up a plan of care? Who will be responsible for monitoring changes in condition?
- Transition management – Do you need support temporarily or longer term? What kind of changes do you expect in the sort of care that will be needed? What will you do when the unexpected happens? Will you need to find a new home care agency when care needs become more medically complex?
- Credentials – Ask how staff are hired, screened, and trained. Find out how caregivers are matched with clients. Is the company run by business people or medical professionals? And ask for references so you can check their track record for responsiveness, professionalism, and compassionate care.
- Safety – There are three areas of safety to consider when you’re thinking about home care.
- Physical safety – ensuring that the environment is free of hazards that could result in accidents or falls.
- Personal safety – making certain that the individual is eating well, being treated kindly, feeling safe getting around town, making good decisions, is keeping up with medication and therapy schedules.
- Asset safety – keeping valuables safe, as care providers move in and out of the home.
A loving choice
Only one agency, Advantage Home Care, provides a level of care that families, friends, and home companion agencies can’t provide and a continuity of relationship that Medicare agencies are usually too busy to provide. The difference is our nurse care manager.