By Juliet Zawedde
Working in the home care industry, I have noticed that many families have a lot of difficulty finding the right home care agency for their loved ones. Half of the time the family members are not sure whether their parents or loved ones will accept the changes of having private help or care.
Due to the fear that they don’t want to lose their independence, they are convinced that they can still take care of themselves. We all realize the importance of finding the right person to match the needs of your loved ones.
Here are some things to follow when looking for timely, quality care:
Prepare a thorough list of questions that takes into account the length of services provided by the home agency, such as adult day, hospice, personal care, companionship, respite, activities of daily living (ADLs) and skilled nursing, for example.
Are all employees and contractors screened to rule out drug, alcohol and sexual abuse?
Also consider the procedures and methods used by agencies when they hire employees and independent contractors:
Are job descriptions provided for all professional and non–professional employees?
Does the agency verify personal and criminal background for all employees?
What are the procedures used in checking prospective employee references, work history, current certifications and professional licenses?
Is there a complete care plan in place formulated to suit each client’s daily needs?
Does the agency provide literature explaining services and fees?
What is the termination of service and discharge criteria?
Does the agency conduct employee/client surveys?
Juliet Zawedde is the owner of Convenient Home Care, 681 Main St., Waltham. She can be reached at 781-642-0880 or on the web at www.convenienthomecare.com. Archives of articles from previous issues can be read at www.fiftyplusadvocate.com.