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How to Build a Checklist for Choosing an In Home Care Provider

Selecting the right in home care for your elderly parent can significantly increase their quality of life and help put your mind at ease. In home care includes a wide range of services that allow seniors, including those with Alzheimer’s or Dementia, the ability to stay in their own home and continue to feel independent while receiving the health care they need. Once you and your loved one agree to find a home health care service, you want to do your due diligence in finding the right care provider. Not everyone’s needs are the same and the style of care wanted is a personal choice. Use the below information to create a customized checklist to narrow down your in home care options and ultimately, find the right caregiver.

Important Information About Getting Started

While in home care allows elderly parents to receive care from the comfort of their home, it is not always the right choice for everyone. It’s important to decide on what you and your family require from a health care service provider first. Before contacting any health care services, create a list of care needs (e.g., mobility assistance, meal preparation, transportation), and how you expect these needs to be fulfilled.

There are likely many people in your community who have gone through the process of finding assistance for their elder parents, too. Ask your family and friends for recommendations. You can also ask your health care providers, including doctors, nurses, and social workers.

When starting your search, don’t forget to check online! There are resources available that help locate elder care services in your area. It’s also easy to find and read reviews about health care service providers.

When Talking to the Provider

When selecting home health care services that are right for you and your senior, there are a lot of points to consider. Answer the questions below then use your answers as your checklist of requirements.

Operations

  • How long has the provider been in business?
  • How is the provider accredited or licensed?
  • Does this provider have literature explaining its services, eligibility, fees, and funding sources?
  • How does this provider go about selecting and training employees? Are employees protected with compensation insurance, general liability, bond insurance, and malpractice insurance?
  • Does this provider have a Patient Bill of Rights that outline the responsibilities of the providers, patients, and caregivers?
  • How does the provider evaluate the patient’s home care needs? Is a nurse or therapist involved? If so, do they consult with the patient’s physicians and family members?
  • Are the patient and their family members involved in developing the plan of care? Is a written copy of the plan of care available? If changes in the plan occur, how is the family notified?
  • What kind of quality control checks are made by supervisors and how frequently?
  • How will the caregiver(s) document treatment and inform the family?
  • What are the financial procedures of the provider? Are written statements explaining all costs and payment plan options available?
  • What procedures are in place in the event of an emergency? Is there 24-hour care available?
  • How can the provider be contacted for questions or concerns, and what is the policy for following up?
  • How does the provider ensure patient confidentiality?

Employees

  • What kind of criminal background checks are performed?
  • Are references checked and if so how many?
  • How does the provider select staff and what kinds of experience/certifications do caregivers have before they are hired?
  • What type of training/education does the provider offer to employees? Is Alzheimer’s and dementia care included?
  • Does the caregiver have reliable transportation?
  • What happens if a caregiver doesn’t arrive when scheduled?
  • Can I interview the employee? Is there a fee for interviewing?
  • Will the same caregiver arrive or does staff work in a team?
  • How are caregivers compensated and who pays their social security or other insurances?
  • If specialized care is needed, are there licensed caregivers available?

Questions for the Caregiver

When you are considering hiring a potential caregiver from a home care agency, you should interview them to see if they are a good fit for your elderly parent and can meet their health care needs. If they are able, have your loved one with you during the interview so they can be involved in the process and connect personally with possible caregivers. Watch how your senior interacts with potential caregivers to see who is going to be a good partner for your elderly parent. When meeting with your potential caregiver, here are questions you should be asking:

  • How long have you been working in the field/with this current health care service provider?
  • Are you bonded (meaning that the provider will compensate you should be the victim of theft by the employee)?
  • What kind of help can you provide and can you meet our specific health care needs?
  • What are your certifications and experience? Do you have specific training for assisting someone with Alzheimer’s and Dementia?
  • Are you trained and certified in first aid and CPR?
  • Have you had background checks completed?
  • Are you available at the times needs?
  • Do you have reliable transportation?
  • If you are ill, are you able to provide backup care?
  • Are there a minimum number of hours you require?
  • Is there anything you are unfamiliar or uncomfortable with?
  • Describe your typical day?

If you are starting your search for professional in home health care services and are looking for providers, contact us today to see what Accessible Home Health Care locations are near you.

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