Choosing a Caregiver for Loved Ones
Selecting a home care provider is a much more challenging process as there is a large range of experience, and professionalism. Here are a few insights to help guide your decision-making to make the best choice.
- Is the home care agency licensed by the State of Oregon? The State Health Department requires that home care agencies follow a strict set of standards to ensure that clients are provided appropriate care in a manner that promotes their health, safety.
- Is the agency bonded and insured? “Bonded” means the agency offers protection to the client if a caregiver steals. “Insured” means the agency carries liability coverage for personal injuries and property damage, as well as workers’ compensation insurance. Ask to see documentation to verify the exact kind of coverage.
- How does the agency screen potential employees? Before allowing anyone access to your home, demand a background check. Is there a physical skills test and a criminal history check through the Department of Human Services completed on each applicant.
- Are the caregivers experienced? Make sure your home care agency employs only qualified, experienced caregivers.
- How does the agency train their staff? Your home care agency should provide on-going training to keep caregivers up to date and proficient on skills needed to care for others with in-office orientation programs, hands-on training, and classes on personal care and managing medication.
- Does the agency schedule around you? Some agencies have set times that caregivers are available. Ask if they are flexible when it comes to your schedule.
- Does the agency have a live person on-call 24 hours? Nothing is more frustrating than having a problem and calling your home care agency, only to find an answering machine. Insist that your home care agency is available night and day.
- Does the agency have 24-hour RN supervision? If you have an emergency question at any time of the day, it’s important that a Registered Nurse is on call 24 hours a day to answer your questions and provide help if needed.
- Will the home care agency bill supplemental insurance companies? Find out if billing is handled by the home care agency or if it is entirely your responsibility to submit claims. In addition, it’s important to contact your insurance company and ask what they require from the home care agency for payment. Make sure you know what your waiting period is and if there are any exclusions.
Article provided by:
Mark Schulz, Marquis at Home