5 Questions to Ask During an In-Home Assessment
Deciding to seek out an in-home care agency for yourself, an aging loved one, or a loved one with a disability who could use a helping hand is no small decision.
Asking the right questions can help you and your loved one to understand what an in-home agency offers and if they would be a good fit for you or your loved one.
We have five areas of questions that you should aim to go over during the in-home assessment. If you have more questions that are specific to your situation and needs, don't be afraid to ask them. The agency wants you to feel comfortable knowing they are transparent and want the best for you and your loved one.
5 questions to ask during an in-home assessment
Finding a good caregiver to come into your loved one's home is only part of the equation. First, you want to find a reputable agency you feel comfortable with.
A few questions can ask so you can get to know the agency and how it is run are:
Has your agency been in business for a number of years?
Where is the main office or the branch in your hometown?
Do you have liability insurance, and ask to see it
Are your care providers independent contractors or employees of the agency?
Do you have references from previous and current clients?
Are your services available 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, and year-round?
Are your care providers covered under worker's compensation insurance?
Care providers and training
After learning about the agency, you will want to move on to the care providers that represent the agency. Having essentially a stranger looking after your loved one can be scary and not something to be taken lightly. Here are a few suggestions for questions you can ask, and don't be afraid to ask more personalized questions about your specific situation.
How do you recruit your care providers?
Do you perform background checks on the people you hire, and do you have a policy that allows your agency to hire people with a criminal record?
Do you perform routine drug screening on the care providers?
What type of training does your agency provide for the caregivers, and do you offer specialty training for certain illnesses?
Do you follow up with your caregiver's performance with families and clients to ensure they are doing their job?
Asking questions about the care management of your loved one is another important area you will want to be thorough about. It is important that you understand what to expect and how the agency will manage the care of your loved one.
A few questions you can ask to clarify things for you are:
How long will it take before care for a loved one will begin after the in-home assessment?
Do you make personalized care plans for everybody or use a generic plan for people?
How often is the care plan updated?
Who conducts the evaluations and updates the care plan?
What is your process for matching care provider and client?
Do you offer specialized care for people with certain illnesses, like Parkinson's, Diabetes, Dementia, etc?
How do you and the caregivers communicate with the family regarding concerns, questions, or recommendations in regard to the client?
Do you supply mobility devices like lifts, transfer boards, commodes, transfer belts, etc?
Are your care providers trained to handle clients with challenging behavior?
Understanding what you can expect when it comes to the financial side of using an in-home care agency is important. Don't be afraid when it comes to asking a lot of questions, so you are not left wondering what the billing practices are of the agency.
Some questions to help give you a better understanding of an agency's billing practices are:
What are the rates of your agency?
Do you accept cash, debit, or credit, and what is your preferred method of payment?
How often do you bill clients?
Is there a deposit required before care starts?
Do you accept long-term care insurance, and how does that work? Do you direct bill, or do we pay up front and then are reimbursed through the insurance company?
Do you still charge a fee while the client is in the hospital and not receiving care during that time?
Understanding the agency policies can help you to feel more comfortable with the agency.
A few questions you can ask are:
What happens if a care provider doesn't show up?
Who do I call if I have any concerns or questions?
Will it always be the same caregiver to work with my loved one?
Do you have an after-hours number to call if needed?
Is there a minimum number of hours of care required per week to use your agency?
What is the agency's backup plan if the weather prevents the caregiver from showing up?
Hiring an agency to send care providers into your loved one's home to do some of the most personal care is a big decision and should not be taken lightly. The questions above are a great place to start, and asking more specific questions about your loved one and their situation can give you an even better understanding of how an agency can help.
Being able to utilize in-home care is truly a wonderful way to keep your loved one at home and as independent as possible. The decision to go with one in-home care agency in Logansport over another is personal and should make you feel comfortable.