Home Health Care

Home Health Care

The facts on in-home care

If an ill or aging loved one needs ongoing home care, it's important that you research ways to identify quality home health care agencies to ensure they receive the quality of care they deserve at a price you can afford. Some caregiving agencies certainly have better reputations than others, and it's important that you know what to look for in a service provider.

To begin your search, find local agencies that specialize in the type of home care you need, whether it's assistance for an adult with a disability or senior home care for an older parent. Then, check to see if there are any complaints against the agency registered with the Better Business Bureau before preparing a list of questions to get answered.

Questions to Ask a Care at Home Provider

Here are some of the essential facts you need to learn about in-home care service providers before hiring them:

  • How long has the agency been in business?
  • Do they provide written literature explaining the terms of service, fees, patient rights, agency responsibilities and service requirements?
  • Does the agency provide prospective customers with an annual report for them to review on their own?
  • Where does the agency get its funding -- from public or private money?
  • How does the agency screen and select its nurses, employees and health care teams?
  • Does an assessment need to be done in order to provide you with a service quote? If so, is this service free of charge?
  • What emergency services does the agency offer? Is staff available on a 24/7 basis if necessary?
  • How thoroughly is treatment documented? Are detailed reports written after each visit, or only on a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly basis?
  • Does the agency provide references from past patients and clients? It should, and you should also follow up by contacting these individuals and asking how satisfied they were with the service. You can also use this opportunity to ask any further questions you may have about the agency?

Ask these questions not only of the agency, but also of your family, friends, neighbors, health care team and anyone else you may know who might have some insights. Get multiple perspectives on a given in-home care agency and choose the one that you think will do the best job for the best price.