There are many things that family members of the elderly must consider before agreeing to hire a home health care provider. Just like choosing a daycare or school for your children, you are essentially trusting a complete stranger with the life of a vulnerable loved one. So, which questions should you ask a potential candidate with experience in senior citizen services? |
1. Do you conduct an initial home visit?
It is important for the family, the patient, and the provider to discuss what needs the patient has and if the provider can provide adequate services for him or her. By having preliminary meetings with representatives from several companies that provide senior citizen services, it will be easier to see who is best suited for the job.
2. Can you provide me with details about the company, and how long have you been in the business of senior citizen services?
This is more or less a two-part question to gauge the stability of the agency and its owner. First, find out who is in charge and what type of license he or she has. Is the person reputable, reliable, and trustworthy? Then, do a quick business search on your state's Secretary of State page to see a detailed history of ownership. This is so you can find out how long the current owner has been in control. And while it cannot be said that agencies that have been in business for many years necessarily provide better care than those that just began, sometimes the assurance of a longer history is comforting.
3. What training and certifications do you require of your workers?
Ask the agency if they investigate the credentials of all potential workers, whether they are contract workers or salaried employees. Research the results of any in-depth screening before hiring. Also, inquire about whether or not on-going training in new healthcare techniques is considered mandatory.
4. Will you involve my loved one's doctor in his or her plan of care?
Some patients require senior citizen services that are beyond just getting help with daily activities. When injections, medication, or complicated medical equipment (such as home dialysis machines) are involved, the agency should collaborate with your loved one's physician. This is also a benefit to the patient because a home healthcare aid can perform many of the duties that may otherwise require a hospital and doctor visit.
5. Can I speak to some of the social workers, doctors, and hospitals that you have worked with?
This is of the utmost importance. Anyone can provide names, but checking with respected personnel for a valid reference will give both you and your loved one some peace of mind. No doctor or social worker would put their reputations on the line to vouch for a company that they have a poor opinion of.
It may not be easy to turn over the care duties of a loved one to someone that you just met, but by asking the right questions, you will feel at ease knowing that you picked the best senior citizen services agency to care for your loved one's needs.
To learn more about their options for senior citizen services, Hackensack, NJ residents should visit http://northeastnj.homewellseniorcare.com/services/.
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