Having to hire home health care can be difficult for anyone. Whether you or your loved one is looking into hiring a home care agency, there are several things that you should determine up front before any decisions are made. If for no other reason than your peace of mind, you might want to put the following on the list of questions to ask your potential home care agency:
Do you provide background checks and employment references for your employees?
This may sound rude to some, but you are entrusting strangers with your loved one, your home and your possessions. Nearly every home care agency will require background checks as well as drug testing, and this is a question that they are probably often asked. You may want to know what their criteria are, however. Some agencies will hire people with criminal records, but only certain offenses are allowed.
Will you provide documentation of education and certifications for your employees?
Many home care agencies require their aides and other staff to become certified or, at least, to have a certain amount of experience. You are well within your rights to ask for proof that the people who will be working with you are indeed qualified. Also make sure that the agency itself carries the proper documentation required in your state.
What kind of supervision do you provide for your employees?
Many agencies regularly evaluate their employees and grade their quality of care. It is also your job to guarantee the quality of the people you will be working with.
How do we determine what care is necessary and will there be a health care plan?
Some people require more involved services while others will simply need an aide or other home care worker to be present and possibly prepare meals. Know what the agency is going to do for you or your loved one and also be certain of your responsibilities.
What happens if a worker calls in sick?
One thing you don’t want is an aide with the flu coming to your home and possibly passing the virus around, but what do you do if something happens and your aide doesn’t show up for work? Also, know who you should speak to if there are problems with an aide with regards to their work ethic or personality that makes them difficult for you to work with.
How does billing work?
Many people simply assume that their insurance company will just cut the agency a check, but there may be deductibles and/or copays that you may be responsible for. Get all of the financial aspects of the service out of the way before visits begin so that there will be no surprises down the road.
Just asking a few questions prior to hiring can eliminate minor and major issues later on. Your main goal, obviously, is to achieve a good working environment for your help and great results for you or your loved one. It always pays to be informed!