Perhaps, the time has come to go about hiring a home care agency to assist your dad. You’ve noticed some changes that are concerning you. For example, he’s having a more challenging time keeping things tidy around the house, shopping, preparing meals, and his personal grooming habits seem to be waning.
But, where do you start? An online search reveals a handful of agencies in your area. Although their websites all look impressive, how do you pick one over the others? That’s a great question, and we’re going to answer it for you in this article.
Five Qualities to Look for When Hiring a Home Care Agency
1. Multiple Services Offered
Some home care agencies are limited in their services; they mainly offer simple companionship services and provide limited, general assistance. But if you’re paying for a professional home care aide to be there with your parent, it’s best to work with an agency that will give you your money’s worth and provide complete services for you, such as the ones we offer below:
- Companionship Care
- Personal Care
- Alzheimer’s & Dementia Care
- Running Errands & Transportation Assistance
- Meal Planning & Preparation
- Light Housekeeping & Laundry Assistance
- Respite Care
- Hourly Care
- Stroke Care
2. Background Checks Are Performed on Caregivers
An agency that runs a driver’s license check and pulls a credit report is not doing their due diligence and protecting your loved one’s safety and well-being. A reputable agency will do a comprehensive background check and have other safeguards in place, per state licensing requirements like the ones we do below:
- Livescan criminal background clearance through the Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigation for all employees
- Home Care Aides registered with the state
- Initial and annual training for Home Care Aides
- TB testing for Home Care Aides every two years
- General and Professional Liability Insurance coverage to $1,000,000 per occurrence, $3,000,000 aggregate
- Workers Compensation insurance to $1,000,000
- Surety bonding of at least $25,000
- Policies and procedures for elder abuse reporting
- Compliance with applicable labor laws
The best agencies will also not use independent contractors; their home health aides will be agency employees. By using an independent contractor, you’re putting yourself at risk for liabilities like workplace injuries, payroll taxes, and more.
3. Initial and Ongoing Training Is Mandatory for Home Care Aides
How important to you is it that your loved one’s caregiver be highly competent and provide your parent with the best level of care possible by knowing precisely what to do in case of an emergency?
Find out what type of initial training your home care aide received when they joined the agency and who administered it. Hands-on instruction by a nurse is optimal.
Ongoing training is also a must and should be conducted at least annually. In addition, your agency should be regularly updating its aides on the latest care methods, including safety techniques.
4. The Agency is Flexible With Its Scheduling
Your availability as a family caregiver is most likely subject to change, as are the needs of your parent. Work with an agency that will work with you and understands things can change quickly. They should require no more than a day’s notice to adjust scheduling to meet your family’s needs.
5. They Will Replace an Aide At Your Request
Personality matches are a crucial element of having a home care aide. The best agencies understand that and have no problem with you requesting a change at any time, for any reason.
Hiring a Home Care Agency? Learn More About Colonial Home Care
Colonial Home Care has been in business for over 25 years and meets the most stringent requirements people demand in a home care agency and a home care aide, including all of those listed in this article.
We meet, and in many cases, exceed the State of California licensing requirements. Check the licensing of any agency you’re considering working with. Some home care agencies are violating the law by operating without being licensed by the state.
Contact us today and schedule your free in-home consultation. You’ll be glad you did.