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10 Things to Look for Before Choosing the Best Home Care Assistance

In the process of choosing home care assistance for you or a loved one? We’ve got you covered with 10 things to look out for before making your decision.

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Nicholas Rubright, @nickflurry1993

Digital Marketing Specialist, Writer, Epicompliance

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Choosing home care assistance for you or your loved one can be difficult. You want to make sure that the healthcare professional you choose is reputable and will provide the best care. There are many different things to consider, and it's hard to know what is important in the decision-making process. The following article will discuss 10 things you should look for before choosing your best option.

1. What Are Your Specific Needs and Requirements?

What you need determines what kind of service you require. When searching for providers, you’ll want to know what kinds of services they offer and whether or not you need a personal caregiver, aide, companion care, or home health agency.

It is important that the company be licensed by Medicare if it provides skilled nursing care so you can receive payment assistance from your insurance provider as well as protections under federal law.

2. What Is Your Budget?

What is the cost of each hour of care, and what forms of payment do they accept? If there isn't insurance coverage in place then ask yourself whether this expense would be manageable if life changes later down the road.

Include any plans for trusts, wills, and guardians into your budget. Long-term home care services are typically not covered by Medicaid or Medicare; some states offer subsidies for low-income individuals, but they vary greatly depending on where you live and other factors like age and disability status.

3. What Services Are Offered and How Do They Compare?

Compare companies to get the best service, and keep a record of the companies and the cost of each service that they provide. This will give you a better idea of what you will need to be spending.

4. How Much Experience Do They Have with Clients Like You?

Make sure the company has experience caring for people with your specific healthcare needs. If they specialize in care for those with dementia or Alzheimer's, then that may not be the best option if you need care for multiple sclerosis (MS).

5. What Are the Qualifications for Caregivers?

Ensure that the company providing you with caregivers has a thorough screening process and that they hire only qualified, trained staff.

Background checks can help ensure your loved ones or yourself will be safe. This can include a review of criminal and driving records, as well as interviews with neighbors or others with knowledge of the individual’s character.

Many companies require employees to pass drug tests and physical exams before starting work. Training is also an important aspect to consider when choosing the best home care assistance company.

Training programs for caregivers range from brief orientation sessions up through one-year certifications that include hands-on training and mentoring by certified nursing assistants, licensed practical nurses, and other healthcare professionals. Hired staff should have HIPAA compliance training.

6. Is There a Certain Level of Care That Is Guaranteed, or Can It Be Customized?

Finding out that the home care assistance company you have chosen has the level of care you need is important to ensure you or your loved one gets everything they deserve.

Some levels of care available are:

  • Aides: This level of care is for a person who needs assistance in their daily tasks such as meals, bathing, dressing, and transferring.

  • Companionship: This type of aid can help with reminders to take meds or perform other required activities. 

  • Nursing services: These services are typically used by people who need to be monitored and require assistance with various medical decisions.

  • Palliative care: This care is for people with severe illnesses such as dementia or cancer and provides a range of services, including emotional support. 

  • Home hospice services: These are hospice-type services which can consist of skilled nurses, social workers, psychotherapists, case managers, clergy members, and volunteers all providing individualized care in the patient's own home.

An initial assessment will help determine what level of care is most appropriate for your loved one based on their needs.

7. Will They Provide an Assessment?

An assessment, whether in person or a video chat via cloud calling, can help you determine what level of service, from light to heavy duty, would be best suited for your specific situation. There are many variables that will impact what type of assistance an elderly person may need; among them are:

  • Do they live alone or with other family members?

  • How advanced are any cognitive impairments?

  • Are there mobility issues?

  • What are their pain levels?

An assessment will provide guidance on which services are needed before scheduling any visits, so both parties know exactly what to expect when the time comes. This ensures that no one wastes their time or money.

8. Are There Discounts if You Sign Up for Different Plans?

Discounts help meet the needs of your budget and can be found in many forms when it comes to home care assistance. Rates may vary based on if you sign up for multiple days per week, month-to-month plans, or yearly contracts. The best providers will have plenty of options available so that each family member's unique situation can be fulfilled with ease and affordability.

9. Is There a Trial Period?

A trial period can help you decide if the care is working before committing to a long-term contract. Some homecare service providers will offer free or inexpensive trial periods while others won't have this option at all. Consider your options carefully before deciding which one would work best for you and your family's needs.

10. Are They Available 24/7?

If there are any questions or concerns about your loved one's care during the evening or on weekends, it is important to find out if the service offers 24/7 availability. If they are always available, you can feel confident that they will be there when it matters the most.

You deserve quality care and peace of mind. We hope this will help you find the perfect home care provider for your needs.

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