David Lohmann

By: David Lohmann on March 20th, 2019

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How to Select the Right Home Care Provider

Seniors

How do you know when the time is right to seek out home care for your parent or senior loved one? They may be reluctant to have help. It’s a difficult transition from independence to health care, after all. However, there are a few signs you can look for to help you decide whether or not it’s time for home care.

Find out when you should seek out a home care provider and learn some tips for choosing the best caregiver for your parent.

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When to Seek a Home Care Provider

First, if your loved one has recently experienced a fall or injury, home care can help them recover and return back to a normal routine. Also, if they have been diagnosed with a life-altering condition like diabetes, home care can help them establish habits to manage their health. A diagnosis like Alzheimer’s disease or dementia can indicate that your senior loved one will require more help in the months and years to come.

After you’ve determined that your parent or loved one needs a home care provider, you should discuss with them and your other family members the type of care services they will require. Determine if your parent simply needs homemaking assistance with tasks like doing laundry or cooking meals. Or do they need a greater level of care, like help getting out of bed, grooming, or using the restroom?

Once you have a better idea about the level of care your loved one requires, you should talk to them and other interested family members about the different care options you can choose from. Should your loved one being in an assisted living community or nursing home? Would they rather stay in their own home to receive care?

In most cases, your parent will want to stay in their own home, where they are comfortable. This is why home care is such an appealing option. You can schedule a qualified home care provider to visit your senior loved one as many times as they need, for as long as they need. These caregivers provide all the services you request, spanning the entire spectrum of care.

This is also a surprisingly affordable option, especially if you choose a home care provider that uses a care-by-the-minute pricing model. With traditional home care providers, you pay by the hour, usually with a four-hour minimum per visit. So, if you find a home care provider that charges $25 per hour, and you only need an hour of care, you still have to pay the four-hour minimum which equates to $100. With care-by-the-minute, however, you only pay for the amount of care you need, in increments as small as 15 minutes. You can save a tremendous amount of money each week if you choose this model.

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Now that you have a better idea of what your parent needs, you’re ready to start looking for a home care provider to help you meet those needs. How can you find the right home care provider? You have four options:

  • Use a referral agency - A referral agency can give you a list of potential caregivers to consider. However, they are not the employer; you will be. These referral agencies usually don’t thoroughly vet the caregivers they recommend. They also don’t have insurance in the event a caregiver is injured on the job.

  • Use a word-of-mouth referral - If a friend or family member has used home care in the past, they may be able to recommend a caregiver to you. However, you’ll face the same issues you would face with a referral agency in that you would be the employer. You would be responsible for vetting the candidate and securing insurance.

  • Use a home care agency - Agencies employ caregivers and send them out based on the visits that are requested. These agencies thoroughly vet their caregivers and provide their own insurance in the event of an incident.

  • Use a mobile app like CaringOnDemand - CaringOnDemand is an app that enables you to request care any time you need it, and connect with caregivers in your area. Because home care agencies provide the caregivers, you don’t have to worry about insurance or hiring expenses.


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What to Look For in a Home Care Provider

Selecting the right home care provider for your parent’s needs is a big decision, and one that you should invest time into making. Here are a few steps you should take to choose the best home care provider.

  • They Have the Required Certifications - You want to ensure that your parent is being cared for by trained professionals. Almost all states require home health care certifications, but it’s important that you know what your state requires. Verify their certifications, and also find out if they are Medicare certified (if that is applicable to your needs).

  • They Have Experience with Services You Need - Every senior has different needs. Once you have established what your parent’s needs entail, find someone with experience providing the specific type of care services that you require. Ask for any pamphlets or literature they can provide outlining their services.

  • They Have an Excellent Reputation - Both you and your parent should feel comfortable with the person you have chosen to provide care. Find out as much as you can about their reputation, like how long they have been in the healthcare industry and if they can provide references. References can tell you more about the experience that other seniors and their families have had with this caregiver.

  • They are Prepared for Emergencies - You want to ensure that your parent is in safe hands with the caregiver you select. Learn more about the services the home care providers you’re considering have in place. Ask how emergencies are handled both during regular business hours and after hours, if you require overnight services.

  • They are a Personality Match - The caregiver you choose will be spending a lot of time with your parent and providing companionship for your loved one. You want to choose a caregiver that is compassionate and caring, with a personality that meshes well with your parent or senior loved one. One way to gauge how well they treat clients is how they talk about previous clients. If they are kind and respectful, they are likely a good choice.

  • They Provide Effective and Timely Communication - You always want to be up to date on your loved one’s care. Make sure that you choose a caregiver who is an effective communicator and can keep you in the loop. Not only should the caregiver communicate well with you, they should also be in contact with the rest of your care team.

  • Take Time to Find the Best Fit - Before you make a final decision, it’s perfectly acceptable to try out multiple caregivers to determine which one is the right fit. This is a big decision for your family, so you need to be certain that you’re selecting the best home care provider.

Now that you know more about what to look for in a home care provider, you’re ready to start your search. When you keep your loved one’s best interests in mind, you’ll be sure to make the right decision.

Are you ready to find care for your loved one? Find care near your senior loved one now.

About David Lohmann

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