By Alison Wood, Contributing Writer
In-home care for older adults offers the double bonus of providing support for family caregivers while allowing seniors to stay in their own home, the place they love and want to be. If you are in the position of choosing an in-home caregiving agency for a loved one, here are some qualities to look for during the selection process.
An agency with an involved management team is more likely to be invested in a strong client-caregiver relationship. You should feel able to approach the management team with any questions or concerns, and be confident that they will listen and work with you to find a solution.
When you first speak to an agency, the terms of your agreement should be clear from the very beginning. You should know whether any deposit is required and how much notice you need to give if you want to stop services. You should also be asked to pay only for services you actually use.
Extensive range of services
Your loved one’s care needs might change over time, so it’s important to select a company that offers an extensive range of services. What a senior needs now in terms of care might not be the same in 6 months or 3 years’ time, so it’s always best to know that the agency is able to accommodate future needs.
A flexible approach
A great benefit of in-home care is when it can be called upon as needed. You might only require a caregiver to provide certain services. You might only need care occasionally or on particular days of the week. You might only want to book care for a family caregiver’s respite needs, such as sickness or vacation times. The key is to ensure that the agency you work with is flexible and works around you — not the other way round.
If you know of people who have used in-home care agencies in the past, then it’s always worthwhile seeking out their personal recommendations. Alternatively, check out the testimonials of any agency you are considering working with. Google reviews, Yelp, and the agency’s own testimonials page on its website are good places to start.
Well-trained and experienced caregivers
When opening your home to a caregiver, it’s important to know that the caregiver is well trained and experienced. Ask the agency what their selection and recruitment processes are. Also find out how long on average caregivers stay in employment there. A good agency that cares well for its employees leads to happy, contented staff that tend to remain in their positions for a longer time.
Along with training and experience, you will also want to look for an agency that prizes reliability, empathy, patience, trustworthiness, and a positive outlook in their staff.
Specialist help as needed
If your loved one has any particular needs, such as dementia care, special diet planning, or a need for hospice care, it’s important to check whether the agency has caregivers who possess specialized training in the appropriate areas.
Bonding and insurance
Any agency you work with should bond its caregivers. This ensures that you as the client are covered should any damage or theft happen when the caregiver is present on your property.
A strong screening process
Every caregiver should be screened by the agency before being employed. This should include a full national criminal record check, as well as a check of a clean driving record.
Any in-home care agency you are considering should offer an upfront consultation for free, so you can ask any questions and get a good feel for the company and the care it provides. Furthermore, agency management should be able to suggest ways to make in-home caregiving more affordable, so that it can fit your budget. A good agency will accommodate your needs and requirements and always put the person in their care first.
Explore your options
If you are in the Chicagoland area and need to find a caregiving agency, then we are here at Care & Comfort at Home will help you explore if we are the right agency for you and your loved one. Contact us for a free no-obligation consultation. We’ll talk with you about your options available and answer any questions you might have. Contact us via our website by clicking HERE, or call us today at 630-333-9262. We can help! And, we look forward to hearing from you.