What to Know Before Choosing an In-Home Care Provider

“I worry I will fall in my house and there won’t be anyone there to help me.”

“Since my husband passed away, I don’t have much interest in eating well.”

“I’ve lived in this house for 40 years. There’s no other place I would call home!”

Do any of these statements sound familiar? While the majority of today’s seniors want to stay in their own homes as they grow older, “aging in place,” comes with its share of worries and concerns. For some older adults, living at home can become lonely and unsafe as they get older, especially if they live alone. This is where in-home care comes in. With quality in-home care and support from a trusted provider, many older adults can remain living in the comfort of their homes for longer.

Not all in-home care is the same, however, and seniors and their families need to do their homework carefully before choosing one. Here are some important considerations to help ensure you or your loved one will be skillfully and fairly treated.

Get recommendations and check references

When it comes to finding a quality home care provides, recommendations can help a great deal. Referrals and references can come from local doctors, nurses and discharge personnel; social workers; local aging organizations, community or church leaders; and, of course, clients and their families.

Make sure you are comparing apples-to-apples. If you or your loved one requires someone to be a caring companion, ask questions about the caregiver’s compassion and competence. On the other hand, if the level of care needed is more advanced, be sure that care is provided by skilled healthcare professionals.

Investigate their credentials

You will also want to consider whether you should hire an independent caregiver versus an agency. Hiring through an agency is typically a safer alternative to hiring an independent caregiver. Most agencies strive to provide proper training and oversight to staff members and professional care to clients.

Not all agencies are alike, however, and you should make sure they are accredited by a legitimate organization, like the Joint Commission. Accreditation from the Joint Commission means the agency “complies with the highest national standards for safety and quality of care and is committed to continually improving patient care.”

Also, confirm the agency is Medicare-certified. If they are, it means they have met federal requirements for in-home skilled nursing care and are closely monitored.

Find out more about the people

The in-home caregiver you choose will become an essential part of your loved one’s life. They will be in the home, alone with the client, 2-3 days a week, or even daily. It’s essential you carefully consider who will be the right fit.

Again, one way to have a higher level of confidence in your provider is to go through an agency. Most agencies run criminal background checks at the state level and federal levels. Medicare certification mandates that they do.

Ask what type of credentials and references the agency requires before they hire. Of course, the level of credentialing required will vary depending on the care needed, i.e., healthcare workers will have nursing degrees. You can also ask to review employee references.

There’s no place like home

This phrase is especially true when your loved ones feel safe, stable, and able to live a fulfilling, independent life. Whether your loved one is recovering from a major medical event or just needing a little extra help around the home, Graceworks at Home will be there for you. And, if it becomes time for a higher level of care, those we serve can rest assured knowing supportive services are available via assisted living, skilled nursing or memory support care at Bethany Village, a continuing-care retirement community connected to Graceworks at Home.

To learn more about Graceworks at Home, please contact us today. We are happy to speak with you about the best care options for you or your loved one.