It could really be an emotional affair when the time comes to decide about seeking outside home care provider for your beloved parents or a loved elderly. The situation is not only emotionally-charged but full of doubts and uncertainties. Fortunately, there are several renowned information services and sources to bank on. However, finding the best home care provider could be a truly daunting task, though not impossible.
Once you are able to identify a few providers, you should go about learning more about their reputation, goodwill, and services. You must draft a well-prepared checklist of questions that you should ask the home caregiver or other people who are well-aware of the concerned caregiver’s track record. All this would be pretty useful in determining the right caregiver for your loved one.
While employing the services of home health care assistance for elderly people; it is certainly crucial to understand the exact ratings a caregiver actually gets by the federal and state agencies. However, simply understanding the ratings is just not enough; you need to know what factors are actually relevant in determining the right caregiver for the specific older adult and how those factors would be impacting the quality of care. Here’s how to go about it.
1. Look for Hospital References
Most elderly people would be requiring home care services only after hospitalization or in some other care settings. Generally, the social worker or the hospital discharge planners are responsible for providing information regarding area agencies. You could directly ask the hospital authorities for a comprehensive list of home health care agencies that are really good and reliable in your community. Ask family, friends, and physicians for suitable references while initiating your search for the perfect home health agency for your loved one.
2. Data Regarding Quality of Care
Keep in mind that ratings would be available for only Medicare-certified agencies. The quality of care would be including Outcome Measures and Process Measures. The Process Measures would be indicating how frequently a home health provider gave the advised care like checking individuals for depression while initiating any episode of care. A 90% rating would imply that the provider offered the advised process 90 percent of their care episodes.
3. Rely on Patient Survey Data
The accurate patient survey data is collected by Medicare via effective Home Health Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers & Systems Program. The records and relevant data that are acquired from various patients, their friends, and families nationwide for the past few years since 2009 would help in identifying good agencies.
4. Some Relevant Questions that You Must Ask the Home Caregivers
Since when the caregiver is operating in the community?
Find out all details about when the provider started the business and how well it has served during this time. Check out its goodwill in the market. Look for relevant hospital and elderly people’s references. If it is a new one, you need to be doubly sure and if it has been serving the community for ages; it would be easy to track relevant information and take the decision.
Are you provided with relevant literature providing details regarding services, fees, funding sources and eligibility requirements?
Several caregiver agencies provide patients with an excellent ‘Patient bill of Rights’ that would be including detailed information relating to responsibilities of the caregivers and the rights of the older adults. Educational materials such as an annual report could be helpful in providing necessary and relevant information about the provider.
What is the process of choosing and training the employees?
You need to know that the staff is well-trained and experienced enough to deliver the required services. You must find out further if the staff is protected with written personnel policies, malpractice insurance and benefits packages. All this would speak volumes about the service provider.
Are the elderly people and their family members consulted while chalking out the personalized patient-care plans? Do they have any say in modifying care plans?
Are there assigned supervisors for overseeing the inmates? Find out how frequently they come to assess the situation.
The most important question would be if the caregiver is efficient enough to handle emergencies? Your loved one’s safety and well-being are your primary concern. So you need to be clear on all counts if the caregiver is effective and efficient enough to deliver the services. You must keep in mind that your task is to find a compassionate and appropriate care for your parents and other loved ones. Though time is the major constraint; you need to find answers to all the relevant questions before taking the final plunge.