Home caregivers provide essential services for anyone in need of assistance due to a medical condition, injury, or age-related limitations. This responsibility is very serious, so the home caregiver should be carefully screened before initiating a relationship with the client.
Here are some questions that you should have in mind when meeting potential home care providers.
Finding a licensed and experienced caregiver is a must for anyone in need of these critical services. The health department in your state can help you determine if the caregiver has the appropriate license to practice.
Each caregiver should also be able to provide references from a minimum of two employers on demand. Follow through on the reference check and validate the license. If you choose to hire a caregiver through an agency, they should be able to provide a list of health care professionals, doctors or hospital staff that has a history of working with them. If you can, also get recommendations from trusted medical professionals, social workers, and others with reliable information.
Unlike many agency workers, Ingleside at Home’s care providers are all employees, not contractors. All of our applicants undergo an extensive investigation to ensure that all jurisdictional, occupational and Ingleside quality requirements are met.
Regardless of the hiring process you choose, you need to understand the qualifications, certifications and licenses that apply.
Evaluating the quality of care is an important consideration. Any agency you approach should be open about the process used to train and review their caregivers. Ask about any continuing educational requirements and find out how often additional trainings must be completed.
Previous referrals can also be helpful in assessing the type of personality the caregiver brings into the relationship. They must be able to win your trust and confidence. This includes a friendly and professional demeanor, a helpful attitude, and a positive outlook on the work.
Home care services are often remunerated through a home care service agency’s billing department. If you choose this method, you will need to request written explanations for the various service costs and administrative fees that might apply.
Home care is not always covered by Medicare or long term care insurances – it depends on the agency as well as your plan. And in the case of long term care insurance, it can be the client’s responsibility to make payments to the agency and then get reimbursement from their provider. Ingleside at Home simplifies this process by accepting long term care insurance and handling all the paperwork for you.
Some health insurance providers won’t give the details of the coverage plan and amounts to the patient directly, so you will need the agency to tell you if your insurance coverage is accepted. Always ask if any financial assistance is available, and make sure that you keep track of any assistance offers in writing.
Some people might consider the option of hiring a home health aide through a registry or word of mouth referral. If you decide to bypass an agency and hire a caregiver directly, you should still get an agreement in writing. You should also find out what specific services and levels of care home health aides are able to provide as these can vary depending on where you live and your state‘s regulations.
Ask what services will be provided and what benefits will apply. This might include sick days, holidays, and vacations. The type of employment relationship will define who is responsible for paying into Social Security and other applicable taxes. This issue is handled differently for employees than for independent contractors. Another thing to consider is Workers’ Compensation insurance in order to cover expenses if the caregiver gets injured in your home. You may be able to obtain Workers’ Comp insurance for your caregiver through your home owner’s insurance.
There are several categories of questions to consider when conducting an agency inquiry or interview.
First, you should know exactly what services will be provided. This may include items like meal preparation, shopping, errands, bathing, and other tasks. These tasks should also be detailed in terms of how often they will be performed each week.
The second category is the care plan, which should be given in writing. This includes items like scheduling, special medical equipment, and details of other medical services and responsibilities. You should be sure to check your state’s regulations in order to be aware of the state-specific requirements for any agency documents.
The third category is the patient’s bill of rights. This will define the rights of the patient and the responsibilities of the caregiver. Find out the identity of your agency or medical contact in the event of a problem or dispute.
Finally, the last category is for miscellaneous items. Contingency plans for disasters or emergencies should be detailed, for example.
Home care typically addresses activities of daily living rather than clinical care services. Things such medication management or wound dressing do not always fall under the services that are provided by a home care agency.
Always ask about the availability of services, especially if there are specific medical conditions that apply in your case. The caregiver should have experience handling the condition and the agency will need to have the necessary license. In some cases, a registered nurse, or RN, will supervise the caregiver’s work to ensure patient well-being and safety.
Any agency should provide you with a written protocol for issues related to preventing the spread of COVID. This includes items related to PPE, disinfecting surfaces and routine testing. In addition to specific protocols, the responsibilities and costs attached to PPEs or any other COVID-related matters should also be discussed. If there is a positive test for COVID, a plan should be detailed in writing.
The home care worker will provide a range of services, so you need to feel confident that this is the right person for the job. Make the right choice for your loved one: screen the home caregiver carefully before making this critical decision.
Ingleside at Home has received both the 2022 Best of Home Care® – Provider of Choice and Employer of Choice Awards from Home Care Pulse. Have questions about our home care services? Call us at 703-552-6140.