in-home careIn-home care services help seniors maintain independence while allowing them to stay in the comfort of their own home. Hiring an in-home care professional is a big decision. You want nothing but the best for your loved one and there are a lot of questions that need to be asked. Here are few important questions you should ask your in-home care provider.

Are your professional caregivers employees or contract workers?

Knowing whether or not the in-home care professional is an employee or contracted out by another service is important. If they are contact workers, be sure to get a full understanding of how they operate. Do they get time off or vacation? Who do they report to? How will they be paid?

Can you or the agency provide proof the caregivers are insured and bonded?

It is important to require them to provide background checks as well. You want to be sure your loved one is under the best care and a well-trained professional is the best way to go. If you are only needing in-home help for some of the day-to-day duties, you may not think you need to hire someone with much experience. However, most states do require training and an experienced caregiver can better keep your loved ones safe at home. Many agencies are bonded, but it is important to know. This will help insure your belongings if there is a theft due to an employee of theirs. Also, another helpful tip is to be sure they provide the most recent vaccinations and medical screenings.

Will we have the same caregiver throughout the plan or will there be multiple people assigned?

Most people want to have the same caregiver throughout the allotted time. Seniors are more comfortable when they know and bond with their in-home professional. Be sure to ask about the turnover rate. Also, make sure you are able to meet them prior to receiving services. You need to be sure that they are a good fit for your loved one and your home. Don’t be afraid to ask if there is a free in-home visit.

What are all the costs linked to an in-home care program?

Before you sign on the dotted line, be sure you have a full understanding as to how billing and health insurance works and is paid. Know what services you will be receiving and what you expect from your in-home care provider. Ask to see if there are any hidden fees. You will want them to provide you a written plan or contract with all services and fees in black and white before you sign.

How do you supervise your caregivers?

Do they do in-home inspections or periodic visits? This is important. This shows the agency or supervisor cares to be sure the in-home professional is doing the best job possible. It also allows seniors or yourself to ask questions or voice concerns.  Also, be sure to ask how they track the time the caregiver is in the home.

Does the company have nurses on staff?

While caregivers are often assisting with non-medical tasks, it’s important to know if the company has a nurse on staff to assist the caregiver and your loved one in the likely scenario that your loved one has an incident that requires clinical judgement. A nurse is also very helpful if the caregiver observes a change in behavior that could indicate the likely occurrence of a preventable hospitalization.

There is no better feeling than knowing your loved one is getting the best service possible. In-home care professionals have a big responsibility in ensuring they are doing the best job possible for their patients. Hiring in-home care is a big decision! Be sure all of your questions answered and all your concerns are addressed before hiring a professional.