How do You Go About Finding the Right Home Healthcare Provider for Your Family?
January 05 2021
Tips to Choose the Right Home Healthcare Agency that Meets Your Needs
When it comes to care for you or a loved one, finding the right home healthcare provider for your family is very important. Ensuring that you or your loved one is safe and well cared for is probably top of mind when it comes to making this crucial decision. However, home healthcare should go beyond that to meet personalized needs. The right agency for one patient may not be the right agency for everyone. So while the right home healthcare provider may differ between patients, there are some guidelines and tips every family should follow to help them choose the right provider for their needs.
1 | Talk with Your Family
One of the most important steps, and the first one you should take, is to speak with your family. It’s important that the patient, family and family caregivers are all on the same page. The patient should make their care wishes known, including what needs to happen in order to trigger going into hospice care. Discuss how much care is needed for them to remain safely at home. Besides medical care, like monitoring vitals, administering medication and therapy, ask what else your loved one needs in order to stay at home safely. Do they need help getting dressed or making meals? Might they need help with these things in the future? It is important to know the answers to these very personal questions in order to make the right decision for your family.
It is extremely important that you begin speaking about home healthcare and any possible hospice care before it is needed. If you wait until a major event happens, like a fall or stroke, your family will be in crisis mode and may rush your decision on which care agency to go with and it could end up being one that doesn’t fully meet your wants or needs.
2 | Make a List
During your family discussion, make a list of what needs or wants you or your loved one has. For example, if your loved one has a chronic condition, you may need specialized care for them. Or if your loved one’s preferred language is not English, include language preferences on your list. Also make a list of any future needs you think you or your loved one might need. These two lists will help you narrow down your home healthcare provider choices and ensure that the one you eventually choose will be able to meet your current and future needs.
3 | Do Your Research
Once you have your list of current and future wants and needs in hand, you can begin to research your options. To help you find providers near you, start by searching some of the key phrases online:
- Home care
- Home healthcare
- Nursing care
- Memory care, Alzheimer’s care or dementia care
- Senior transportation
This is just the start of your search. The first result on the list isn’t necessarily the best home care agency for your loved one, so make sure you do a little digging online. If you are looking for elder care for a loved one, consider contacting your local Area Agency on Aging (AAA). This national network of over 600 organizations is a great resource for education on elder care services available in your area.
Other helpful tips on researching the right home healthcare provider for your family include:
- Looking for a company that has a history in the community (how long the provider has been operating and if they are involved in the community outside of their business), which is key in showing a commitment to stability.
- Looking for a company that works with other organizations, such as the Alzheimer’s Association.
- Looking at licensing and certifications the provider holds, which is a good indicator that the agency provides quality care that has met or exceeds the standard of care.
- Looking to see if the company holds any awards that indicate a high standard of care.
- Researching testimonials and reviews on the care provider.
4 | Ask for Recommendations
Take your research offline as well by asking family, friends or anyone else who has worked with a home healthcare provider for their recommendations. Don’t forget to also ask you or your loved one’s doctor for their recommendations. You can also ask local organizations for their recommendations, for example, your local senior center or hospital’s social work department. Some other sources for opinions on home healthcare agencies can also include your financial advisor, attorney, non-profit healthcare organizations and other medical providers.
5 | Interview Your Top Choices
Once you have narrowed down your options by comparing providers to your list of needs and having received recommendations, you can begin to look at your top choices more in depth. The best way to do this is to interview your potential providers. Asking questions of each agency will help give you more intimate knowledge of how that agency operates and how it interacts with its employees, the patient and the patient’s family.
Here are some ideas of questions to ask:
- If a particular caregiver isn’t a good fit, how do they handle replacing that caregiver?
- How does the provider monitor quality of care?
- How does the agency supervise, train and support their staff?
- What steps do they take to ensure accountability?
- How do they handle coverage if your regular caretaker is unable to make a shift?
- Will you have the ability to call and ask questions of healthcare professionals or a supervisor at any time?
- Do they involve the family in developing a care plan?
- Do they provide respite care?
By following these steps, you should be able to find the right home healthcare provider for your family. If you live in the Philly area, we hope that you will consider All American as your home healthcare provider. Our caring professionals approach patient care the same way we would with our own family. Learn more about our services today.