Choosing the right In homecare agency for your loved one does not have to be complicated. Where do you start when choosing a Home Health Care/ Home care Agency? The right questions can protect you and your loved one from potential liability. First determine these items.
- What can your loved one currently do and where is help needed?
- What help can family and friends provide?
- What additional assistance is required?
Questions to help protect your loved one:
- Is the agency licensed, bonded and insured?
- Does the agency pay the caregivers federal and state taxes, Social Security (FICA) and unemployment insurance, so your family is not legally responsible?
- Does the agency perform criminal background checks, DMV check and state abuse registry checks for all employees? Do they check caregivers’ references from prior work history?
- If your loved one or caregiver sustain an injury at a client’s residence, does the agency have an insurance policy to cover the injury? (Many homeowner’s insurance policies exclude injuries to “domestic employees”)
- Does the agency provide a written plan of care that explains the service to be performed, identifies the days they will provide care, and spells out the fees?
- Does the agency have a written statement of fees, eligibility, and payment procedures?
- Does the agency have a system to document that the services were indeed completed?
- Is there someone to call after hours? Does the agency have a contact person for questions or complaints?
The agency should have a solid presence. How are their reviews? Do they listen to your needs and concerns? Can you meet with the agency before hiring them? A good agency offers transparency. They should offer tools and assistance is determining the proper care needed for your loved one. The plan of care should be flexible and adjusted as you and your loved one’s needs change.