When the unexpected occurs, if you’ve had a recent hospital
visit or are experiencing medical problems, where and how do you
get that extra care to help you while still enjoying your daily
routine in familiar surroundings? How do you accomplish the healing
process in the comfort of your own home while the chores pile
up and the little things you can’t attend to get ignored?
The answer is by bringing in a home care provider. These providers
do all those things you are not able to do or just plain don’t
feel like doing. Making the right choice of providers is critical
in your path to recovery and well being. It isn’t easy to
make the decision to invite a stranger into your home to provide
care for you and you want to make the best decision possible.
Begin the process by thoroughly reviewing your situation. Do this
through discussions with involved family members and loved ones.
When necessary, consult with your physician(s), social workers,
hospitals, or therapist. From these conversations develop a list
of wants and needs. Seek references of providers from hospital
discharge planners, social workers, friends, and physicians.
The next step is to speak to a few of the companies over the phone
to establish if they can provide the services you are seeking.
Most reputable agencies provide services such as personal hygiene
assistance, meal preparation, light housekeeping, transportation
for errands and shopping, laundry and ironing, and supervision
in therapy and medication regimens. While on the phone you will
be able to also get a feel for what the personality of the company
will be. Look for those companies who are professional, knowledgeable,
and friendly. The personality of the people you speak to will
be reflected in their care staff. Then, select a couple of companies
to come out and visit with you in person. A good company will
provide an initial consultation free of charge. They will visit
with you to assess the situation and make recommendations for
your continuing care. A few key items to look for during this
- caregivers should be employees and the company
should handle all the wages, required tax with holdings, and
workers compensation issues.
- the company should be licensed (if required),
bonded and fully insured.
- all caregivers should be thoroughly screened
and background checked.
- the company should have adequate number
of employees to handle emergency situations and increased workloads.
- can you choose your own caregiver?
- how accessible are the supervisors in times
- how flexible is the company in its care program?
Once you have made a decision to employ a specific
company they will come in and develop a complete and individualized
program to manage your care. They should match your needs and
desires to the best possible caregiver for you. Remember that
in this type of care you are the “boss”. Unless asked
to do so, the care provider should not take control of your schedule.
Unlike typical nursing agencies or homes, the homecare provider
will not dictate to you what the schedule is to be (i.e. What
time to get up, when to bathe, meal schedules). The beauty of
this care is that they will adapt to your wants and needs and
see to it that you remain comfortable in your own home.