There are many choices for in-home care. To help assure you are making the best choice, you must consider three important variables: WHAT? WHO? and HOW MUCH?
Home care agencies provide certified nursing assistants, companions and a wide range of other homemaking services in the home setting. Home care agencies employee the workers and provide management and supervision. Since the worker is not an employee of the family, the family does not have to worry about managing payroll, training or employee issues. In fact, the family may ask the agency to remove the worker and have him/her replaced at any time.
Before choosing an agency you need to make sure the workers are employees not independent contractors. This is important, if the agency uses independent contractors the family may be considered the employer of the caregiver.
Private duty services are privately hired by the family and can provide any supportive services someone needs to stay at home. Private duty/private pay services are hired directly by the older adult his/her family members. Private duty caregivers are generally found through word of mouth, newspaper advertisements, or through the Internet.
Registries can provide a wide range of services from basic homemaker services to skilled nursing care. This model of agency acts as a “matchmaker” service, assigning workers to clients who need home care.
When a private duty caregiver is in a private home, supervision, monitoring, payment, government-mandated taxes and workers’ compensation coverage, fall on the consumer. If the caregiver is to use the client’s car, be sure the client’s auto insurance will cover the caregiver. Also, there are NO training requirements for private pay or registry caregivers.
Experience of agency and/or caregiver – Find out longevity of agency, who manages the agency who owns it and their involvement in the community. Find out the amount of experience the workers have and any certifications the workers have.
Get references about the agency and/or caregiver – Ask for at least three references for the worker or the agency. Ask references about their experiences, if they would hire the agency or worker again, what worked and did not work.
Make sure that the worker is covered by insurance and bonded – Ask the agency for a copy of it’s coverage. If you are private hiring call your insurance agent and find out what coverage is needed for workmen’s compensation and on your home and auto.
Make sure that background checks are done – Ask the agency what type of background checks they do. If you hire privately, use a private investigator or background check service to verify employment, police records, debts and any other items recommended.
Find out what support is provided by the agency – Do they do an assessment? How often do they come and check on their workers? Experience of management? What do they do if the assigned worker is sick or does not show up for work?
Insurance – Call your homeowners insurance and let them know you have people working in your home. Ask them for a waiver to make sure these workers are insured to work in your home.
“Lynn Goehner and her caring team of geriatric case managers made it so I can be as independent as possible and age at home. They set up home care and helped me hire private caregivers. I have always been very independent and did not feel I needed a geriatric care manager or Eldercare Specialists’ help, but my family persisted. Lynn started, my diabetes and high blood pressure were causing me a lot of problems and instead of taking away my independence my health improved and they advocated for my independence. Her team of geriatric care managers advocated with the doctors and provided blood pressure and diabetes care management. By collaborating with my doctors, she was able to help get me on the right medications and get healthy again. Eldercare Specialists has helped me stay healthy, social and active. This year I turned 100, and I couldn’t have done it without Lynn and the Eldercare Specialists team.”