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What You Should Know When Choosing a Home Healthcare Provider

March 20, 2017 at midnight

I remember when my mother was getting older. The one thing she kept saying was, "I want to stay in my home." It's understandable. In fact, the majority of older adults want to age in their own home. The idea of picking up and moving to a new environment can be daunting. Here are some things I learned you should know about hiring a home health care agency or health aide.

Costs

If you are considering a home health aide, double-check the fees. Don't get surprised by any hidden expenses — ask if you are responsible for sick days or vacation. Likewise, review the services provided by home care agencies, and get a detailed breakdown of fees for each. Find out if the agency can offer any assistance or payment plan if you need help.

Credentials

If your loved one needs nursing care, the home health care worker should have the proper credentials to offer that service. This is different from a worker who does things like cleaning and other light tasks. In any case, check which care positions need credentials, and make sure the staff in your home have them.

Safety

Of course, no one wants to hire help that might hurt their loved one. But it pays to be careful as some people will take advantage of the aged — in early 2017, Houston police were searching for a home health care worker for allegedly abusing a 94-year-old female patient. Many agencies require background checks of health workers on staff.

Quality Control

Check if the home health care provider has a quality assurance statement that outlines staff training and review. This indicates they have consistent training sessions to keep health workers up to date on procedures and best practices, and monitor their work to ensure high quality care.

Reference Check

You'll want to get and check references for each home health care provider you are considering. References could include former or current patients, family members, community members, doctors, support personnel and discharge planners. Ask them if they have contracts with the provider, if the provider must meet certain standards, what feedback patients give, and if they actively refer new patients to the provider.

Many older people want to live at home. Home health care allows them to be in familiar surroundings they prefer. Use these tips to help find the right provider for your loved one.


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