Steps to Take Before Hiring an In-Home Caregiver

Steps to Take Before Hiring an In-Home Caregiver
Medicare heakth insurance

Many a well-intentioned family member has taken on the task of caring for an aging parent only to discover that they have taken on more than they can do alone.

In the next years, many more people will be required to fill the duty of caregiver. According to the US Census Bureau, the population of people aged 65 and more will increase by 50% in the next 30 years!

 

That's a lot of People Who Could Use Some Assistance

 

If you are already a caregiver (or will be in the near future), you should know that you don't have to do everything on your own. Hiring a professional caregiver to assist with overall coverage and/or specialized abilities can make a huge difference in the quality of care your parent receives as well as your own life.

But how do you go about picking a caregiver? What are the best places to look for one? What types of inquiries should you be asking?

 

Collaborating with a Professional Home Health Agency

 

Everyone has heard tragic news stories about untrustworthy, unqualified, neglectful, or even abusive in-home caregivers. That is something that no one wants to happen to their loved ones. However, this is not always the case. There are a lot of hired carers who do a fantastic job in their jobs.

We've put up a few guidelines and a list of the most critical questions to ask when dealing with a professional home health service to assist you to navigate the process of selecting the best home care expert for your family.

 

First Step: Determine What You Need

 

The first step in choosing a home care specialist is to determine exactly what you require. From unlicensed personal care assistants to trained nurses, there are many distinct types of home care professionals.

  • Does your loved one require specialist care, such as physical therapy, speech therapy, or other forms of support in order to recover from heart failure or another condition or procedure?

  • Are you looking for someone to keep you company, perform some light housework, and drive you to errands and doctor's appointments?

  • Or do you require someone to assist doctors with medical operations, handle prescriptions, change dressings, monitor equipment, and assist doctors with medical procedures?

 

The primary care physician of your loved one should be able to assist you in defining specific needs and priorities. Many home care providers also provide an initial evaluation visit to provide additional assistance.

 

Also Read Things You Should Know as a Family Caregiver

 

Second Step: Evaluate the Company

 

Once you've determined what you require, it's time to look for an agency that can meet those requirements. When determining whether or not an agency is a good fit, there are three primary factors to consider: reputation and accreditation, people and services, and standards and processes.

 

  • Certification & Reputation

 

A long history in the community, positive write-ups in community-based networks like Nextdoor, and the approval of other local elder care organizations such as a council on aging are all indicators that an agency has a solid reputation, in addition to a glowing recommendation from a friend, family member, or doctor.

 

Here are a few particular questions to consider:

  • Is the organization Medicare/Medicaid certified?

  • Does the agency have any additional qualifications or accreditations?

  • Does the organization meet the requirements for local and state certification?

  • Are they subjected to external inspections on a regular basis?

  • How do the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) rate them?

  • How do patients and their families rate the services they receive?

  • How does the organization hire, train, and manage its caregivers?

  • Is the agency willing to provide client and partner references?

  • Has the agency been in operation for a long time?

  • Has the organization been helping the community for a long time?

 

Also Read: Does Medicare Pay for Home Health Care?

 

Steps to Take Before Hiring an In-Home Caregiver

 

  • Services & People

 

Once you've determined that an agency matches your requirements, it's time to look into the home care specialists it employs and the services it offers. After all, while the agency may be competent, it is the individuals who work there who make the actual difference for you and your loved one on a daily basis.

Here are a few particular questions to consider:

  • Do they provide both skilled nursing and home health aides?

  • What are the diverse qualifications of the employees?

  • What types of specialized services does the firm offer?

  • What services does the organization not offer?

  • Is the agency open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week? Is there a backup plan in place if your primary caregiver is unable to care for you?

  • Are you able to meet a possible caregiver before hiring them to check that you and your loved one are a good fit?

  • Does the company conduct extensive background checks?

  • How do caregivers get their training and certification? Do they have a basic understanding of CPR and First Aid?

  • How about specialized training for specific sorts of care, language skills, or cultural abilities (for example, working with LGBTQ people or dementia patients)?

  • How frequently do employees participate in on-the-job training and education?

  • What service levels does the agency offer?

 

  • Processes & Protocols

 

Finally, you should dig a little "in the weeds" and ask direct questions about how the organization operates and manages its caregivers.

 

Here are a few particular questions to consider:

  • What is the procedure in the event of an emergency? What number should you dial?

  • What policies and procedures does the agency have in place to protect the privacy and confidentiality of patients?

  • What is the procedure for raising and resolving a complaint concerning care?

  • Will the agency supply you with a line-by-line quotation for services in advance so you can budget?

  • What are the billing practices of the agency in general? How are disagreements resolved?

  • How does a care plan come together? Will the patient, the patient's family, and the patient's primary care physician all have a say in the process?

  • Will the agency give a written copy of the plan and make any necessary updates?

  • What kind of supervision do in-home caregivers receive? Is it possible to meet with a supervisor on the spot?

  • How often do those visits happen?

  • How does the agency track and measure employee performance and progress on specific care plan elements?

 

Also Read: What Is Long-Term Care Insurance?

 

Third Step: Obtain the Assistance You Require

 

While working with an agency can increase costs and possibly necessitate a weekly commitment of a certain number of hours, it can also give a number of inherent benefits, such as conducting worker screening, managing liability, and handling payroll and taxes. If your primary caregiver is unable to offer services for whatever reason, you will have faster and easier access to backup care through an agency.

Is there any assistance to cover the price of in-home care once you've found a suitable professional caregiver?

Many people believe that in order to qualify for Medicaid, you must be extremely broke, but this is not the case. In truth, there are a number of ways to protect assets without affecting eligibility provided you are diligent about it. Qualifying for and applying for Medicaid is a time-consuming process, but it's usually well worth the effort. If you'd like to learn more about how we might relieve some of your stress, please contact us at (844) 731-6614

Choosing a competent in-home caregiver is a challenging undertaking, but it doesn't have to be impossible. You'll be off to a good start if you can properly describe and articulate what you and your loved one require. Then it's just a matter of asking the appropriate questions and limiting down your options until you find your ideal match.

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