Selecting a Home Care Provider
Most people don’t plan or expect to need care. When the time arises, many are confused and not sure what to ask to select the best agency for their needs. Please review the list of helpful questions below to assist you when navigating through this process, either for you or a loved one in need of care.
Ask About Experience
How long has this provider been serving the community?
Ask For a Brochure or Other Literature
Does this provider supply literature explaining its services, eligibility requirements, fees, and funding sources? Many providers furnish clients with a detailed "Patient Bill of Rights" that outlines the rights and responsibilities of the providers, patients, and caregivers alike. An annual report and other educational materials also can provide helpful information about the provider.
Ask About Employee Selection & Training
How does this provider select and train its employees? Does it protect its workers with written personnel policies, benefits packages, and malpractice insurance?
Find Out How Care Needs are Evaluated
Are nurses or therapists required to evaluate the client's home care needs? If so, what does this entail? Do they consult the client's physicians and family members? Does this provider include the client and his or her family members in developing the plan of care? Are they involved in making care plan changes?
Find Out How the Plan of Care is Administered
Is the client's course of treatment documented, detailing the specific tasks to be carried out by each professional caregiver? Does the client and his or her family receive a copy of this plan, and do the caregivers update it as changes occur? Does this provider take time to educate family members on the care being administered?
Find Out How to Ensure the Quality of Care
Does this provider assign supervisors to oversee the quality of care clients are receiving in their homes? If so, how often do these individuals make visits? Who can the client and his or her family members call with questions or complaints? How does the agency follow up on and resolve problems?
Ask About Payments
What are the financial procedures of this provider? Does the provider furnish written statements explaining all of the costs and payment plan options associated with home care?
Ask About Emergencies
What procedures does this provider have in place to handle emergencies? Are its caregivers available 24 hours a day, seven days a week?
Source: The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) | http://www.nahc.org/
—Client's Family in Falls Church
The caregivers were so compassionate and developed a close relationship with my wife. This was such a wonderful help to me.