You can’t choose the right home care company for you or your loved one by merely looking over a brochure and relying on other marketing pieces. The right questions must be asked and you must make sure those questions have a detailed, decisive answer. Considering every home care service is customized (or should be), do not accept generalized answers to every question. With that being said, you must make the choice of which questions are important to you and which answers need more substance.
Below is a list of questions that should be asked while discussing specific services from the home care company. These are crucial questions that will help determine the qualification and proficiency of that particular company. Again, you are the one who must determine whether the response provided is sufficient or if it needs more elaboration. These people are coming into your home and are a significant part of your day to day living activities – you need to know how and why they’ve been chosen.
- What are your recruiting efforts for caregivers, and, what are the differentials when recruiting for companions, home health aides, and certified nursing assistants (CNA)? You want to make sure that not just anybody is pulled in from the street to provide care.
- List the steps of your hiring process and ask what constitutes a good hiring decision. You want to know how many references are checked, do they have the right experience for particular needs, when and how often are drug tests done, what background checks are done, and one of the most import things… do they have an overall good attitude?
- Who manages the caregivers, what are that manager’s qualifications, and how often are performance evaluations done? This is really going behind the scenes – you want to make sure things are done efficiently.
- What steps are taken to guarantee a needed caregiver and to ensure proper arrival time? (Communication, communication, and communication)
- Who is the 24/7 on-call coordinator? You want a direct communication line with the home care company – not an on-call service.
- How many RNs do you have on staff (RN – register nurse), what is their exact role in developing my care plan, what is my interaction with the RN and how often would that be? This is vital if you have a medical condition that needs considerable assistance.
Every person and every need is different. There are always more questions that can be asked with in-depth answers for a good analysis, but the questions listed above create a good foundation to have. I don’t want to sound like a broken record, but remember, this is all about you.