As with most things, there is a process involved in selecting and beginning service with the home care company that will provide care for your loved one. While the process outlined below isn’t carved in stone, it should serve as a reasonable outline for getting you through. It reflects the process Well Being Senior Solutions prefers, but our service is customized to the particular needs and circumstances of the individual.
Do a reasonably thorough due diligence on the agency. It’s prudent to do your homework on the available agencies. Here’s a brief series of questions that might help:
- How does the agency hire and conduct in-service training for its employees? Does it protect its employees with written personnel policies, benefits, and insurance?
- Are nurses required to evaluate the client’s home care needs? If so, do they consult the client’s physicians and family members?
- Are the client and her/his family members included in developing the plan of care, and in making any subsequent changes?
- Ask to see the actual in-home assessment document. Is it thorough, comprehensive and thoughtful?
- Is the client’s course of treatment documented, detailing the specific tasks to be carried out by each caregiver?
- Does the client and his or her family receive a copy of this plan, and does the nurse supervisor update it as appropriate?
- How often are there on-site visits by a nurse supervisor?
- Are financial arrangements clear and understandable?
- What procedures does this provider have in place to handle emergencies? Are agency personnel accessible at all times?
Visit the Agency
Many relationships in home care begin through only phone contact, and in some cases that may be appropriate (as when distance is an issue). However, when possible you’ll want to know that there’s a real business behind the name and phone number, with systems, files, procedural manuals and training rooms. In some cases you may find that “the business” is little more than a single room in someone’s home with a phone and a fax machine. A working, “real” office is a very visible demonstration of the business’ commitment to its operations and its clients, and an expression of its desire to operate in a professional manner.
Review agreements and agency-provided materials to ensure you understand your financial and other obligations. Only then should you sign any documents.
The agency should next arrange for the Director of Client Care to visit the client in her/his home; preferably, the primary caregiver (most often a family member) should be there as well. The Director of Client Care will get an understanding of the client’s needs, limitations and expectations. Well Being Senior Solutions uses one of the most comprehensive Director of Client Care’s assessment processes in the industry, to ensure we are properly addressing our client’s needs.
The Director of Client Care should prepare a written plan of care, detailing the services and timing of various activities. The plan should be reviewed with the appropriate family member as well as the client.
Well Being Senior Solutions will assign a caregiver, based on criteria provided by the client, family member and Director of Client Care. The caregiver will be provided with the plan of care and a copy will be kept in the client’s home journal for updating and notation during service.
A day or so before the caregiver’s assignment actually begins; she/he will visit the client’s home, together with our Director of Client Care, to familiarize herself/himself with the setting and to meet the client. This short visit (usually under an hour) is designed to prevent any issues on the day that full care begins.
The caregiver arrives. The client should be advised not to admit the caregiver unless she/he is wearing the Well Being Senior Solutions photo ID, and the photo matches.
About every 4-6 weeks, our Director of Client Care and/or a member of management will visit the home to check on the client and the caregiver, and to ensure that the plan of care is working as intended or to make any adjustments called for.