There are many reasons for searching for home care. Individuals need home care when they are recovering from surgery, have a family member that is chronically or terminally ill, are disabled or mentally challenged or have suffered an injury or recovering from an illness. Their care needs may revolve around daily personal care like bathing, dressing or shaving. They may need assistance with preparing meals or shopping. They may need help monitoring a medical condition like high blood pressure or diabetes. There are many choices these individuals have to satisfy their home care needs including private agencies, community services including volunteers, and self-employed professionals. When looking for home care, understanding which option is best for your situation can be confusing so here are some tips to help you decide what is best for you.
When looking at an agency there are some helpful questions to ask the representative. The following questions may be asked of the agency representative:
How many years has the agency been operating?
Is the agency accredited by any governing agency such as the Joint Commission Home Care Accreditation Program?
Are they Medicare certified?
Are they licensed the residential state?
Ask the agency for references from doctors, and any former clients who may have used them.
What credentials does the staff have who will be administering to those in care?
What type of training is offered the staff?
Are those doing direct care bonded or insured?
What health maintenance organization (HMO) or other insurance coverage is accepted?
Will the agency assist with obtaining finances to pay for the care?
Is there a listing of the available services?
Is there an agency fee schedule?
How does the agency handle emergencies?
Community services can be located through your local church, senior center or group or through your physician. You may be able to find such services as meal preparation and delivery, shopping services, or someone to help clean your home and do yard work. Help from the community may come in the form of a pastoral visit or women from the local church bringing hot meals over when needed. Communities may have a visiting nurse program in place to assist citizens who are in need of this service. Often there are transportation services for seniors to help them get to shopping centers. There may be bookmobiles that help reach those who cannot leave their homes but would like to be able to have library services. When locating these services always ask about the type of service offered, frequency of service, procedure for setting up the visits and whether or not the service is volunteer or fee based.
Individuals also offer professional services on contract basis or may be home based working as an entrepreneur. You may find these individuals advertising in the classifieds or in the local phone book or community news bulletin. When deciding to use someone who is acting on their own without agency or company affiliation it is wise to check out their credentials including any licenses, certifications and affiliations. Remember to ask for and check their references.