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How to Choose a Home Health Care Company

Many boomers and senior citizens want to remain in their own homes for as long as possible. Home health care can be a less expensive alternative to a nursing home and also more comfortable for your loved one.  The familiarity and consolation of remaining at home offers many perks.

If are considering a home health care company, the following tips will be helpful for you to choose the best provider for your needs.

1. Look For Extraordinary Customer Service:

 Expect prompt and courteous communication with caregivers and office staff at all times.  A good home health care company is going to not only take your information over the phone but also want to come to the house to do an on-site assessment.

2. Director Of Nursing (DON):

  Be sure that there is a qualified Director of Nursing to supervise all cases.  Ask how many years of experience the DON has with home health care.  Meet with the DON, as you will communicate with him/her often to discuss the care plan and the subsequent maintenance of a care plan for your loved one.

3.  24/7 On Call Service:

 Ask if you will have access to office staff to express questions, comments, and schedule changes at all times, especially weekends and holidays. Ensure that the company will provide back up, if you're care provider is unable to make their shift.

4.  No Minimum Hours:

 Some companies will tell you that you have to contract for at least three or four hours. Choose an agency that is flexible and willing to work to fit your needs, within your budget. There may be times when care is only needed for an hour or less.

5. Diverse Caregivers:

 A great company will have a trained staff of highly qualified and trained professionals, picked from a group of talented caregivers of all ages, races, and cultures.

6.  Direct Employees:

 This is the most important thing to ask a home health care company.  By using a company that employs only direct employees you are affording yourself many protections. When using direct employees, the company is responsible for the employees' payroll taxes and Workmen's Compensation insurance. Some companies utilize independent contractors and this opens a client up to a number of liability concerns.  The home health care company also conducts national background checks on all workers.  Also be sure to check if the employees have been trained in dealing with dementia clients.

7.  One Stop Shop:

 If there is a service that the home health care company does not provide they should have a network of trusted colleagues that they can refer you to.  The home health care company should link you to resources and help coordinate the services with you. This is most often completed by social worker.

8.  Social Worker Component:

 Ask the company if there is a qualified social worker to address medical, legal, and social concerns. By incorporating social work into the care plan, the company maximizes all areas of the clients quality of life.

9.  Accessibility To The Leadership Of The Company:

 It is important that you feel comfortable contacting the leadership with any comments, questions, complaints or concerns. The leadership should return your call within 24 hours.

10.  The Bottom Line Should Never Be More Important Than The Patient's Care:

 The decisions made by the caregiver and office staff should be motivated by genuine compassion and love. After sometime, you should feel like your caregiver is your family!  The company should always look out for your best interests and not their bottom line.

After you have found a home health care company, monitor the situation. If you're concerned about the care or services provided, discuss it promptly with the home health care company. If necessary, involve your loved ones doctor as well.


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