Community Blog

Are You Asking the Right Questions about Your Home Health Care Agency?

By Owner

You have reached the point where you understand that your aging loved one needs more help than you are able to give. Maybe you have other family and work obligations, or you might be an adult child of an aging senior with health problems of your own. You realize that an in-home caregiver can offer assistance that you can’t provide.

It is important to note that not all home health care agencies are the same. You will want to find out about the agency’s experience, the qualifications of its caregivers and the services that are provided. Of course, you will also want to learn about the costs.

To find the best agency in your area and obtain the right care for your loved one, here are some important questions to ask.

  • What is the company’s background? Find out how long the company has been in business and if they are backed by a strong regional or national firm. Ask if the owner is a health care professional with a strong understanding of the needs of seniors.
  • What licenses and certifications does the agency hold? Many states require home health care agencies to be licensed and reviewed on a regular basis. You can check with the health department to find out how the agency is rated and if it is certified by Medicare to meet health and safety standards.
  • How are employees screened? A reputable home health care agency will perform a thorough background check after the interview process. This includes a criminal background check, a credit check and a medical history.
  • Do candidates have to supply references? Ask whether the home health care agency you are considering checks the references of their employees to pick up on any potential problems.
  • How are the in-home caregivers trained? The agency might have employees with different skill levels, from home health care companions and aides to certified CNA’s (Certified Nursing Assistants). A reputable agency will provide ongoing continuing education on such topics as handling Alzheimer’s patients. Find out about the background of the caregiver that would be assigned to your loved one.
  • How does the agency determine the services that will be provided by the caregiver? Find out if the home health care agency will send an experienced professional to assess the needs of your loved one.
  • What services will the caregiver perform? The agency should develop a Care Plan that may include duties such as assisting with personal hygiene, shopping, preparing meals, and providing transportation to doctor’s appointments and social activities.
  • How is the caregiver supervised? Find out if the agency provides ongoing monitoring by visiting the home with announced and unannounced visits to make sure the Care Plan is being followed correctly, and to assess whether the needs of your loved one have changed.
  • How much will high quality in-home health care cost? Ask about the pricing structure at the home health care agency, and see if care is available 24/7 if needed. Make sure you are quoted the price for the level of care that is required by your loved one with the agency quoting a lower price at first and then switching to a different level of care at a higher price. Some agencies go the extra mile to protect you by charging one price for all levels of service so there is no confusion.
  • What happens if the usual caregiver can’t come? The in-home health care agency you choose should have a backup plan that provides a trained caregiver in case the regularly scheduled caregiver is unavailable.

When you need a home health care companion, aide or Certified Nursing Assistant for your aging loved one, contact us at Home Helpers of South Shore. Owned and operated by a compassionate health professional with a strong understanding of the needs of aging seniors, Home Helpers can provide the trained, experienced home health care workers you need.

Please fill out the form on the left and we will get in touch with you to setup your free home consultation or call us at 781-585-1244 to determine the plan that is right for you.

We serve the following communities:

Abington , Braintree , Brockton , Buzzards Bay , Carver , Cohasset, Dighton , Duxbury , Falmouth , Halifax , Hanson , Hingham , Holbrook , Hull , Humarock , Kingston , Lakeville , Marshfield , Mashpee , Middleboro , Norwell , Pembroke , Plymouth , Plympton , Quincy , Randolph , Rockland , Sandwich , Scituate , Taunton , Wareham , Weymouth , Whitman