Tips for Successfully Hiring an in Home Care Company – Dana Lambert
Making the decision to hire a company to provide meal preparation, bathing, dressing or other caregiving tasks, is a big one, and you want to get it right.
You want to maintain as much independence as you can, but need some help. You may be worried about safety, security issues, and even whether you can find someone you like or have anything in common with. Here are 5 topics to ask about as you interview companies for the job:
- How long have you been in business and how many employees do you have?
- Is your company licensed with the state? Can you provide me with contact information for the agency?
- Do you conduct state and national security checks before hiring caregivers? Do you repeat these checks periodically on employees? How often? (National checks will pick up any violations from other states, and are important in insuring that a person with violations hasn’t just moved from one state to another.)
- As a part of your hiring process, do you verify state licenses with the granting agency?
- Do you do an initial and periodic 10-panel drug screen on employees? With the types of medication often found in seniors homes, it is important to make sure caregivers do not have any substance abuse issues, including alcohol.
- Are your employees all licensed, bonded and insured?
- Do you pay your employees by the hour? (If they pay by the day or by the shift, this can be a clue they may not be adhering to national, state and local employment minimum wage law.)
- Do you conduct random and unannounced visits to your employees?
- What training do you provide to your caregivers?
- Service & Costs:
- How will you decide which caregivers to send me? What if I don’t like the caregiver? Will I be able to request particular ones? Can you provide me with the same ones, consistently?
- If a caregiver is ill or otherwise unable to come to work, how and when will I be notified? Who will come in their place?
- How do caregivers keep track of their time? Will I (or my cognitively impaired loved one) be responsible for signing a time card or otherwise verifying time worked?
- What is the hourly rate for services? Is there a minimum number of hours? Deposit or other fees? How do I pay my bill? Does your contract list all costs and expectations?
- How will my caregivers know what they need to do for me? How do you communicate with them and they with you about my needs and services?
- If I am dissatisfied with my caregiver or have other problems, who do I talk to?
- If needed, how and who will communicate with my family members? Will they be able to participate in planning for my (or my loved one’s)care, if appropriate?
Knowing the reputation of a company is important. Look for online reviews and ask for references.
Lastly, while it seems overwhelming at first, once your caregivers are in place, the process can run like a well-oiled machine, insuring you (or your loved one) are safe and well cared for, with your needs met by a kind and caring staff.
It can be just the right choice to help you stay in your home and thrive.