by Kerry Goss, Senior Helpers of The Desert
While finding a caregiver on your own may initially appear to be less expensive, the cost difference becomes negligible when time, taxes, insurance and your security are factored in. When considering hiring a caregiver to help with services in your home, make sure you know the facts. The decision to hire a caregiver can be overwhelming, so it is helpful to have experienced professionals guide you through the process. Being well-informed and relying on experts to coordinate the selection of highly-qualified and compatible caregivers can reduce your stress, ensure the quality of care and safety you expect, save you money, and protect you from potential legal problems and financial responsibility.
1. Are your workers bonded and insured in case of injury or theft?
• The company you want to work with must have extensive insurance, including Professional and General Liability, Non-Owned Auto, a Dishonesty Bond, and Worker’s Compensation policies.
2. How extensive are your criminal background and reference checks?
• It is important that the agency not only run a check on their caregiver’s last job but also on all the places they’ve lived for at least the last five years. It must be thorough and should include checks for elder abuse, sexual offenses, arrest records, DUI’s, etc.
3. What are your interviewing and hiring practices?
• It is essential an agency have more than one meeting or interview with an employee prior to sending them to your loved one’s home. This affords the opportunity to gain better insights into the employee’s motivations and reliability.
4. Does your company have ongoing supervision of and training for the caregiving staff?
• Supervisors can help a caregiver identify safety hazards, observe special diets, establish hygiene standards, and more. Ongoing training enhances job performance and quality of care delivered, which results in a better care experience for you or your loved one.
5. How do you select your employees?
• Make sure you choose an agency that sets high standards in its hiring policies and considers factors such as demeanor and professionalism when hiring their employees. It’s essential to feel comfortable with the caliber of person providing care in the home.
6. Can you send me information describing your services and fees?
• A reputable agency will provide detailed, easy to understand information for your review that describes rates, available services, and any or all fees. You should also be able to drop by their business office to meet the office staff personally.
7. What is your caregiver replacement policy or guarantee?
• A good agency will give you as many replacements as needed, whenever needed and have back-up coverage available. We maintain regular contact with both clients and caregivers to ensure satisfaction.
8. Can we set up a time to meet to discuss the details of my care needs?
• A reputable company will always send a representative to the residence where care will be provided for a complimentary, no obligation consultation at your convenience. This affords you the opportunity to get your questions answered and ensure you are comfortable with the agency.
9. Does my loved one get to meet the caregiver before starting service?
• A good quality home care agency should personally introduce the caregiver to ensure the customized plan is reviewed, introductions go smoothly and ensures the caregiver clearly understands expectations.
10. What happens if we decide to discontinue services?
- A home care agency should ask for no more than two weeks notice to end services. The agency should be willing to waive notice should the client die or be admitted to the hospital.