How Do I Choose a Home Care Agency?

You have faced the fact your loved one needs help. They are having trouble completing simple tasks like bathing, preparing meals and maybe they have had a fall in their home.

You have decided to get someone in to help them from a reliable home care agency, but what is next? With so many choices, how do you decide?

An agency will be the employer who takes care of the human resources side of the process and ensure that your caregiver(s) are certified through the New Jersey Board of Nursing, bonded and properly insured (liability and worker’s comp). They will also handle all the scheduling and do their best to ensure coverage for all the times the caregiver is needed.

Many factors should go into this decision. You want to find an agency that fits your budget and location, but most importantly one that fits the lifestyle and personality of the person that needs care.

Is the agency accredited by a national industry association?

The National Institute for Home Care Accreditation, Inc. (NIHCA) promotes quality, professionalism, and ethics to ensure public trust, by setting standards and qualifications that guide the delivery of safe, essential home care services. This is accomplished by producing qualified, principled home care provider organizations through the accreditation process and independent oversight.

This sets a home care company apart from all others by establishing a mark of excellence and standards for professional, ethical and sound home care. The company has gone through a rigorous vetting and accreditation process that must be maintained.

Look for awards recognizing excellence.

One big one is Home Care Pulse’s awards for Provider and Employer of Choice.

The Best of Home Care – Provider of Choice award is based on client satisfaction ratings collected from telephone interviews performed by Home Care Pulse, an independent satisfaction research firm. These home care providers are best-in-class for providing quality care to their clients. This recognition assures that the provider is trustworthy and has proven their ability to provide outstanding in-home care services.

Best of Home Care award-winning providers appreciate their clients’ feedback and are dedicated

to providing the highest level of quality, professionalism and expertise in-home care.

The Best of Home Care – Employer of Choice award is based on caregiver satisfaction ratings collected via telephone interviews by Home Care Pulse, an independent satisfaction research firm. Providers who have earned this award are best-in-class for caregiver satisfaction.

When you choose an “Employer of Choice,” you can have confidence that your caregivers will be happy to serve you. Best of Home Care award-winning providers appreciate their caregivers’ feedback and are dedicated to providing the highest level of quality, professionalism and expertise in-home care.

Home Care Pulse is an independent company that helps agencies capture feedback and satisfaction scores from their clients and caregivers.

Do staff members have any designations?

Certified Senior Advisor-A Certified Senior Advisor (CSA) is a professional who specializes in aging and has received a comprehensive education in the health, financial, and social issues facing seniors. CSA certification requires individuals to pass a rigorous exam and to uphold the highest ethical standards for the benefit and protection of the health and welfare of seniors.

CSAs are multidisciplinary professionals who have demonstrated advanced knowledge in the multiple processes of aging.

Certified Dementia Practitioner-The CDP certification represents that the front-line staff and health care professional has received comprehensive knowledge in dementia care, achievement in completing the Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia Care course/seminar, met NCCDP requirements for CDP certification, applied for the CDP certification and received the CDP certification. The CDP commits to ongoing professional development through NCCDP Staff Education Week or other educational opportunities and re-certification every two years.

A CDP certification reflects a deep personal commitment on the part of the front-line staff, health care professional, and the organization’s sense of accountability by abiding by the NCCDP ethics statement, inspiring confidence and dedication in an individual’s professional knowledge through quality of life and quality of care provided by the CDP to the dementia patient.

Who is overseeing the care of your loved one?

What is the support structure at the agency? Is there an on-staff director of nursing? An on-staff director of nursing is responsible for overseeing all of the caregivers, their training and developing the plan of care for the caregivers to follow when they are with clients.

Is there someone at the agency who can guide your family through your home care journey and connect you to resources and community agencies? Some areas and organizations have services available to help those who need professionals who come to the home, food or accommodations to the home.

Paying for care

Paying for care is a concern, no matter which option you choose. Care can be paid for with private funds, using long-term care insurance or in some cases for veterans, the VA with the Community Care program or Aid and Attendance pension.

Rates vary per client and vary depending on the level of skill required by the caregiver. Each client is quoted based on individual care requirements and circumstances.

Ask the agency what their payment methods are, how frequently the bills are sent out and if they bill the long-term care insurance directly, if applicable.

Testimonials

Look for testimonials from clients and caregivers to give you an idea of what to expect, either on their website or social media pages.

As with any service, ask lots of questions! The staff is there to gladly answer them and find you a great caregiver to meet your needs.

 

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