Searching for the right home care agency can be stressful. The primary concern most people hold during their search is whether their loved one will be receiving the highest standard of care possible.
Knowing what to look for can be hard and comparing companies often doesn’t seem to show many differences. So to help you find the right care agency for your loved one, we’ve created this blog post. It includes some of the questions you should ask agencies when contacting them.
Questions to Ask a Home Care Company
When making a list of questions to ask a home care agency, it may help to think of questions for different areas.
Ask questions on the actual business and their company policies, maybe even their billing methods, as well as about care management and their process for selecting and training caregivers.
Before we get to the q’s, just know that there are probably dozens you could ask that aren’t included here. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ask them, though. This is more like a guide – you can use the questions or you can get inspiration from them to create your own.
Here’s a list of examples of things you can ask a home care agency:
1. Which Care Services Do You Offer?
Home care comes in many forms for many clients so it’s important to know what types of care the care agency does and doesn’t offer. After all, they need to be suitable to the needs of your loved one.
For example, they could offer:
- Home care visits
- Live-in care
- Dementia care
- Palliative care
- Night-time care
And ask about each service, too. What it will include, what you can expect from the caregiver, how a care plan will be created and who it will involve – is a care plan even created?
2. Can You Show Me Client Testimonials
No matter the service, reviews are always the be-all, end-all. They are the best indicator of how good the service quality is.
Slightly newer agencies may not have inspection ratings because they need to be in operation for a duration of time. Therefore, testimonials are the best way to get opinions from previous and current clients. In fact, current clients are the best to speak to about the agency as the information they provide is fresh, recent, and updated.
3. Is It A Fixed Price?
Weekends and late-night visits could have a different cost compared to regular daytime prices so you should consider asking.
Even if you don’t think it’s relevant because you’re uncertain if you will choose this company, it’s better to know. Then you can compare it against other agencies. Or if you were to ever change the care package due to circumstance or situation, you would know if there would be extra charges.
4. How Will You Choose The Best Carer For My Loved One?
Your loved one is important to you so of course you want them to receive the best possible care available. With some agencies, a carer could be chosen for you or a list of available carers may be given and you’re expected to choose from that line-up.
This is where you have the opportunity to ask other carer-related questions, such as how they were selected by the agency, if they’re local or if they need to travel. As well as specifics like language requirements.
It would be a good idea to meet the carer before they start coming to your home to support your loved one. You can personally introduce them to your loved one whilst getting more comfortable around them and inviting them into the house.
5. What If My Loved One Has Complex Care Requirements?
A lot of care agencies providing home care will have specially trained carers.
At Red Rose Care, for example, we give our carers an induction plus ongoing training so they are adaptable to all care needs, including those that are more complex. So whether your loved one needs regular home visits or home visits suitable for clients suffering from dementia, we can do it.
6. Will The Carers Be Dedicated?
Continuity plays such a key role in home care.
Consistency means that clients can build rapport with their carers in order to become comfortable with them and feel safe around them. Their situation is already stressful, and sometimes overwhelming, because they have to give up at least a small part of their independence to accept help.
Dedicated carers understand and have the utmost empathy in these circumstances which is why they will try to minimise the amount of new, unfamiliar people entering the house. Small, dedicated teams can have the most impact thanks the to their thoughtful and patient actions.
7. Are Staff Members Available Outside of Normal Business Hours for Emergencies?
Unless your loved one has a live-in carer that is there to provide support all day every day, then there’s more worry on the family members’ shoulders.
We think this is quite an important question to ask a home care agency. Live-in care comes with slightly different requirements and rules than home care. Home carers will have regularly scheduled visits, maybe they’re short and every day or maybe they’re visiting longer over shorter periods.
For those that have home-carers visiting once a week, what happens outside of those hours? If their loved one suddenly needs that extra support outside of visiting hours, they may need to rely on carers to take on this responsibility of care. Especially if they have prior commitments that demand a lot of attention, such as work or childcare.
Red Rose Care
Our consistently updated team of carers at Red Rose Care are knowledgeable on latest techniques and guidance for care.
Routines can be important when it comes to home care service. We understand that here at Red Rose which is why we always aim to match clients to the most suitable carers. Let our compassionate carers ease your struggle by offering you reputable home help. We care 24/7.
Call us on 01772 963 740 or email [email protected].