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How Should You Decide On A Home Care Agency

It's an easy decision, deciding to engage an in home care agency over a nursing home or family-based care when an elderly loved one needs regular medical attention. Home care is the perfect middle ground between leaving them behind and struggling to keep up with their needs on your own. But how do you decide which home care agency is the best one for your loved one?

The Different Types of Home Care Agencies

There are several kinds of operations that all fall under the category of 'Home Care'. You might find:

Respite Care, workers who will give a family that normally works to care for an elderly member themselves a break for a few hours or a few days so that they can attend to important life events. Daily Care, workers who visit at scheduled times each day and do prearranged tasks around the house, as well as making sure that your loved one's medical needs are met. Live-In Care, workers who provide around-the-clock assistance to your loved one, both medical and domestic.

Look At the Services Offered

In home care isn't a service; it's an umbrella under which many services are offered. You need to make sure that the agency you engage is one that offers the specific services that your loved one needs. Some offer "services" of a barely-medical nature, like companionship and help with meals and laundry. Others offer full-scale nurses who can provide complex medical services like administering drugs, maintaining oxygen tanks, and so on in addition to helping out around the house.

Whatever your loved one's level of need, you can find a home care agency to meet it; but the more complex the needs, the more you can expect the agency to charge. Depending on your loved one's insurance, some or all of the cost may be covered, which might again affect which agencies you're able to choose between.

What Are The Deciding Factors

You cannot necessarily trust a home care agency's claims unfortunately. The American Geriatrics Society actually did a study that discovered that only fifty-five percent of the agencies actually perform background checks on each of their workers, and that only 1 in 3 actually tested their caregiver's competency before hiring them to work, but every one of these agency actually claimed to do this. So you really have to rely on factors and not just the agency's advertising power when making your choice.

Perhaps the best such factor is the agency's age. In general, the market rewards quality by keeping an agency in business. You should also, naturally, make certain that the agency is licensed, and that the specific worker(s) you're going to be working with are insured, bonded, and certified by at least one national organization.

Trial Run

While it's not 100% necessary, it's also a good idea to make certain that the agency you work with either allows month-to-month payments or, if they do ask for a longer term, they allow you a 'trial run'. Sometimes, even when everything else seems proper, a care worker just fails to get along with a particular client for no obvious reason, and they need to be reassigned. Don't get trapped in a long contract with a care worker that your loved one isn't happy with, or you'll make everyone involved miserable.

You shouldn't ever take lightly the responsibility of choosing which in-home care agency will support your family and care for your elderly loved one -- the decision will shape a large part of the quality of their lives. Hopefully, armed with this information, you'll be able to make that decision more effectively.

About Author Jason Lom :

Senior Helpers NJ - Senior Care Agency Ocean County NJ. Our inhome care Toms River NJ professionals will develop a program based specifically on the personal care needs of your family. Learn more at <a href="" target="_blank"></a>

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Article Added on Friday, July 4, 2014
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