“What can you Expect, When You’re Expecting” Homecare!

“What can you expect when your expecting” homecare? That’s a good questions and one that should be covered to allow you the family and client to make the best decisions possible when dealing with homecare agencies.

There are a ton of agencies out there to be honest. There are franchises and private companies to choose from. They differ greatly and all share one aspect: they provide care. The level of care and quality of caregiver is the difference between them all which thus directly affects the clients and their care. A consultant of mine when we started Lavender, Bob Roth of Cypress Home Care Solutions, said it perfectly, “Caregivers are the beating heart of the company!”

How can a family and client prepare themselves for the process of interviewing companies so they may make an informed decision on who will care for their family member? What can you ask of a homecare agency to feel comfort with the services you receive?

So, here is the FIRST piece of advice I can offer. MAKE SURE YOU LIKE WHO YOU ARE SPEAKING WITH AND MEETING WITH. You will have a lot of time with each and every person in the office including the staff. You will speak of personal times and have difficult conversations ahead of you. You have to trust and like them. By being introduced to the staff, you will be able to really understand the culture of the company. Most companies in homecare are small enough that you should get a call and time from the owner. Even if they have 200 clients (which is large to be honest) then its not even 1 call per day. Ask about it.

I have met families who do not prefer to work with my company on the sole fact that I am not a nurse. Although I may not agree with it, I am completely OK with it and never take it personally as it is their choice and preference. Again, choice and preference is a key. We care for loved ones and have a duty towards our clients to do so consistently.

Here are some other questions to ask that may be helpful in the search for a homecare agency.

  1. What are your needs? First, you need to determine your level of need. Do you need help just a few hours a week or more? Starting the process early also helps ease the transition, and allows you to find a home care provider that can grow with you.
  2. What is the homecare provider’s background and qualifications? Do they have nurses on staff, how many staff members do they have.
  3. What is their job history?
  4. How long has the company been in business?
  5. Do they have liability insurance? Also be sure to ask to see the liability insurance certificate.
  6. What certifications does the company have?
  7. Is the state regulated for homecare, and if so, does the company meet the state regulations?
  8. If the company isn’t regulated, how will they self-regulate themselves to provide quality care?
  9. What do you do to improve your staff and your care?
  10. Do you provide education for family members?
  11. Do you administer BC&I and FBI background checks?
  12. Do you provide continuing education for your staff and, if you do, every how so often?
  13. Do you do drug testing? Are they pre-employment drug tested or are they just drug tested for cause? Are they randomly drug tested throughout the year?
  14. How many caregivers will I be getting? What is the agencies hour/caregiver ratio?
  15. Do you have theft insurance?
  16. How do grievances get handled? Do you have a grievance policy?
  17. Can I meet the caregiver who will be coming into my home?

All of the above questions can offer you more information about the company you are speaking to and thus allow you to make a informed decision about the care provided to your family member.

Thank you for listening and taking your time to read this.