8 Crucial Questions to Ask a Home Care Provider
Choosing a home care provider for yourself or your loved one can be a stressful process. You want to be sure you’ll be provided with reliable, quality care from a reputable provider without completely breaking the bank. Conducting thorough interviews with all providers under consideration is an important step to choosing the best provider for your needs.
Here are 8 crucial questions to ask potential home care providers that can quickly separate the good ones from the bad:
1. What is your company’s history? How long have you been in business?
Find out about the ownership and structure of the company. Are they run by a national organization, or small and local? Check that they are insured, and find out if they belong to any professional organizations. Membership in outside organizations usually means that the company abides by some standards of practice, giving you some peace of mind at the level of care you or your loved one will receive. Also find out how long the company is in business. This isn’t necessarily an indication of the quality of care that will be provided, but it can point to the stability and longevity of the company.
Our Answer: Advanced Nursing and Home Support is family owned and operated, and has been providing expert care and exceptional service for 25 + years.
2. Are your care workers employees or contractors? How do you choose who works for you?
If the care workers are contractors, you may have different liabilities and tax reporting requirements than if all that was handled by the company. Finding out your obligations is important to keeping in compliance with any laws or regulations. Inquire about the interview process and how care workers’ reported credentials are evaluated prior to hiring.
Our Answer: Advanced Nursing and Home Support is very selective in who we hire. Only 4 out of 10 applicants make it to an interview, and every care provider is certified in CPR and First Aid. Plus, we have a rigorous system of background checks, including checks against driving records, the Federal Criminal Database, and the National Sex Offender registry. And if the status of any care provider changes, we are notified immediately.
3. Do you work with doctors and other providers to develop a plan of care?
For situations where more than routine assistance with activities of daily living is provided, it’s important to find out if your care worker will seek input from and comply with a doctor’s orders. This is especially necessary for those with disabilities, who require special diets, or who have chronic conditions that involve specialized care.
Our Answer: Yes! Every client receives an individual care plan from our Nursing staff, in consultation with the client’s physician, as needed. Every plan is executed carefully with the utmost detail.
4. What happens if my regular care provider is unavailable one day? Do you have back-up providers?
Even the most reliable and dedicated of care providers gets ill or needs a vacation. Smaller companies may have more difficulty providing last-minute replacement care, but if they have a plan in place for sending in back-ups, find out what it is. Larger companies may have a larger pool of workers from which to draw.
Our Answer: We match every client with a compatible care provider. If that care provider becomes unavailable, we have backup systems in place to ensure that the client’s care continues and that their needs are always met.
5. How do you evaluate the care that your employees provide?
Continued evaluation and management of home care workers is important to help maintain a high standard of care. Ask about oversight for care workers in the field, and how often they receive site visits or performance reviews.
Our Answer: We believe in being proactive in our partnerships with our clients and due to this, we regularly monitor the care providers’ performance. We also monitor the client’s satisfaction on a regular basis.
6. How do you handle care needs outside of business hours?
Situations that require care don’t always happen within the regular work day. What happens if you or your loved one needs care in the middle of the night? Who can you contact? Find out if the company has an after-hours emergency number, and if your regular care worker will be the one responding. Obviously, if it’s a real emergency, dialing 911 first is top priority, but if there’s an issue that a care worker can handle you need to know who to contact.
Our Answer: We’re a 24/7 business. When you call us at any hour, on any day, you won’t be put on someone’s voicemail. Our friendly and helpful answering staff will immediately direct your call to the supervisor on duty. We also have a clinical Registered Nurse available for urgent issues at all times.
7. Can you provide references from current or former clients?
Finding out what current and former clients say about the service you might be receiving is the best way to get a sense of the real care provided. Reputable companies will be more than happy to give you references. Call each and talk with them about all the day-to-day questions you want answered. Also check local social media and review websites to see if there are any negative reviews. A few outlier bad experiences isn’t anything to worry too much about as long as everything else about your chosen company seems on the up-and-up.
Our Answer: Yes, yes, and yes! We’re happy to share references and referrals with you.
8. Does the agency provide ongoing training?
It’s important to know that ongoing training is an important value in any company. Standards and practices change frequently – check to see what sorts of ongoing training or testing is provided for care workers. By empowering care providers, they are able to continually reach for a higher level of care.
Our Answer: We require all Care Providers to continue education throughout the year and we offer trainings, webinars, and hands-on seminars on a monthly basis.
Home Care Provider in Maryland
Getting the answers to all your important pre-care questions is necessary to making the right choice for you or your loved one. If you are looking for a quality, stable home care company, contact us today! We are always happy to answer any questions you may have.