Finding in-home care for a loved one can be a stressful process as you want someone who will care for them with the same patience and love that you would care for them. You don't want to hire someone because they are local or because the price is in your budget. Here are five steps to take finding in-home care you can trust.
1. Ask family and friends for personal referrals.
Start with the people you know and trust, who may have a recommendation based on personal experience. Friends and family can also let you know if there are in-home care organizations that they would not hire and why they feel that way. While you do not want to make a decision solely on a personal recommendation, it can help get you in the right direction. You can also go online to look at testimonials and online reviews of the companies you are considering. While you cannot believe everything you read online, you will be able to identify trends in reviews as either overly negative or overly positive.
2. Contact agencies in your area with questions.
The first thing you want to do is write down all the questions you may have about their services. You want to also ask about their hiring process and what qualifications their home aids are required to have. You can ask about pricing and schedules as well during this meeting. Ideally, you will meet with a supervisor or director but meet at their office so that you can get a feel for the company as a whole. If you have follow-up questions after your initial meeting, do not be afraid to call and ask.
3. Meet potential home health aides.
When you have narrowed your choices down to one or two, ask if you can meet with the home aids that may be working with your loved one. Meeting them will give you an idea of their level of professionalism, and you can ask them about their experience and motivation working as a home aid. You can also ask them about the company they work for to find out how professional they are in how they treat their employees.
4. Do a free background search through GoLookUp.
Golookup.com is a website that allows you to do free background searches. You can look up the people that work as the in-home aids to see if they have criminal records, and if they do, what the charges were. You can also find background on where they've lived and their educational background to make sure it is in line with what you have been told. Doing a background search may offer you the information you did not think of checking before.
5. Set up a trial period for you to observe the home aid with your loved one.
Once you choose a company to go with, set up a two-week trial period. During that time, you can spend some time with your loved one and the in-home aid. You can also pop in and out to check on them randomly. When it comes to the care of your loved ones, you can never be too cautious. At the end of the trial period, if you are not happy with the aid that has been assigned to your loved one, you can request someone new or switch to a different company. You are not obligated to keep working with someone that you do not trust.
While it is not a sure-fire way to ensure you hire the best possible home aid, following these steps will allow you to do your due diligence in making sure you are provided your loved one with a safe and caring option.