5 Tips to Choosing Your Home Care Provider

March 24, 2016

When it comes to deciding on a home care provider for a relative or loved one, there are many things to take into consideration before making the final call. You will want to look for a provider the meets the services wanted by you and your family, including the recipient of the care.

Don’t leave the decision down to chance or luck. Take the time to thoroughly plan your choices before vetting each one of these to determine who is best for the job. Remember this is the long-term care for someone very close to you, so you should be looking for only the best!

Here are some useful tips to following when looking for a home care provider:

Determine What Type of Care is Required

In-home care can be separated into two categories – skilled care and custodial care. The first of these is in relation to a medical care and assistance, so this would be suitable for someone dealing with a long-term illness or disease or those recovering from surgeries or other injures that resulted in medical care.

The second of these is more so to help with the day-to-day life of a patient. This could be helping with housekeeping, cooking, or shopping, along with other forms of assisted help such as clothing oneself, bathing, and even eating.

Sit down with your relative and determine what type of home care they most require, and you can then determine what agencies can meet these requirements.

Research Potential Candidates

Once you know what type of services you need, you can better understand what provider is best suited for these.

A great way to start is to simply inquire about the length of time they have been providing care for. This is a great indicator to their status within the community, as those with a long past will likely have better reputation, or at least you will have enough references to be able to determine if they aren’t the greatest agency out there.

Literature regarding their services is a great way to find this information.  Most providers will always have reading materials that explain the nature of the services they offer, certain requirements for patients, along with fees for their services.

Services Offered

Once you have a list of candidates, further research on the services they offer should be taken too. Inquire about the range of services that are on offer, while you may not need them all, a versatile home care provider does give evidence of their ability to provide many levels of comprehensive home health care. This could be a great indicator of the quality of services on offer too.

Also make sure to ask about the specific services that they offer in relation to your own needs. Various therapies will likely be provided, but are these the ones your relative or loved one requires?

Another thing to consider is additional services that might be more specific to your own situation. For example do they offer bilingual staff? You could have an elderly relative who is a non-English speaker and would require a Spanish speaking nurse or therapist.

Costs and Insurance Coverage

Any sort of information regarding costs should always be sought out when looking for a home care provider. Not only will you need to work within your own budget, but also understand whether or not insurance or Medicare covers any of this, and how much the final costs will be.

Look for statements that explain what the costs are and why they are there, along with any type of payment plan options that they might provide.

Ask for References

References will play a massive factor in your final decision making, as it allows you to better understand the care home providers from those that have paid for their services in the past, including relatives and patients themselves. Doctors and other carers may also feature on these references, and can help find out about the quality of service they provide from them.

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