“Just because someone has a business card, does not mean they are accredited or bonded”.
Check with your state DHHS to make sure the agency is licensed. Ask them if they have heard any feedback regarding local companies.
Check with your local doctor, or adult care facility, about the reputation of the agency. Many of these may have had dealings with, or heard from patients, about these agencies.
Ask how long has the agency has been licensed and providing service? Some of your less reputable companies are “fly by night.” Always check out a company that has been in business less than 3 years.
Do they have paperwork (brochures or literature) stating what they can do?
What will you do if my caregiver will be out? What are your policies with boundaries?
Ask about boundaries and make sure the policies are professional and appropriate. Sometimes unlicensed agencies, or caregivers, have no boundaries and get involved in inappropriate issues and situations. They should not be involved with; finances, soliciting third party repairmen/services, improper relationships with a client’s family members. Not all people go in with “bad intentions,” but when the opportunity presents itself, they may give in to the temptation. This information is not intended to scare people, but to make everyone aware of what we have seen, and heard in the homecare industry.
Ask about the screening that is done for their caregivers? Background checks (local, state, or national, Fingerprints) drug screenings, training.
Will you be notified of changes in the health of your loved one?
Can you be involved when there are changes to the plan of care?
Who do we call if there are any issues?
Take the time to ask a few questions, and don’t be afraid to ask around town about an agency. Other people in the community may have some background knowledge, or experience. These are a few steps you can take to ensure that your family and loved ones are protected and receiving the best care.