There is perhaps no more important task than hiring someone to assist with the personal care of family member. Given the recent proliferation of individuals and agencies holding themselves out as “home care givers” it is especially important to do your “homework” on the home helpers. Here are list of questions to ask in order to weed out the good from the bad:
How long has the person or agency been in business?
Is the agency privately owned or part of a chain?
Does the caregiver work independently or are they employed by the agency?
What kind of training does the caregiver(s) have, receive, or is require of them?
How are the workers monitored or supervised?
Are the workers subject to a criminal background checks? If so, how often?
Is there a written plan of care for each patient and is the patient and caregiver involved in developing it?
Will the same caregiver be coming each time?
Are the workers and agency covered by liability and workers compensation insurance?
Is the agency inspected by any outside agency. If so, can they provide their most recent report?
Do they obtain customer satisfactory surveys from their clients? If so, can you see some of the most recent surveys?
Can they provide written materials about its services, cost of such services and billing procedures?
Can they provide written information about your rights and their responsibilities pursuant to the services agreement?
Is the agency “approved” or certified to provide services to Medicare patients?
How does the agency respond to emergencies?
Who do you call if you have any complaints?
Does the agency find or coordinate other services (e.g. – Meals on Wheels)?
Ask for references!