Choosing home health care for parents are becoming increasingly popular in this day and age due to the immense benefits it renders. As a result of the aging population, chronic diseases and hospitals costs; home health care is an option many opt for. If you are one of the many who decide to give your parents the best home health care, then you have come to right place to run you through what you should look at.
In order to give the best to your loved ones in regards to home health care, you need to look into three primary elements:-
1) The risk of abuse
2) Care vs Cost
1) The risk of abuse when choosing home health care
Elder abuse is known to many as the 'crime of the century'. Therefore, there is a considerable risk when choosing a worker. Physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, financial exploitation, neglect or abandonment of the elderly by the appointed caregiver are different forms of abuses that has been reported in the past. So it is crucial to choose a home health care worker who has a sound reputation.
[caption id="attachment_4218" align="alignright" width="230"] Home Health Care[/caption]
2) Care vs Cost
As you might be very well aware, choosing a home health care worker is no easy feat. Many people who choose home health care are faced with the ongoing expenses. As of 2014, the national average cost is $20 per hour, taking into account that different state averages range from $15-$25 per hour. Finding a worker through the internet or newspaper advertising can be cheaper than going through an agency. Having mentioned that, it is important to be aware that there are more dangers of elder abuse, mainly financial exploitation, if you choose to hire an independent home health care worker.
If you opt to hire a worker through an agency, then it is safe to say that this licensed agency will offer you more security. First of all, the agency will have performed a very thorough background check before hiring a worker for their agency. This kind of background check usually involves a criminal record search as well. Although, an independent worker can show you several good references, it is important to keep in mind that these statements can be falsified. Secondly, make sure that the agency is not only licensed but also bonded and insured. This will ensure that whatever loss you face will be recovered by the agency (e.g: when the worker steals).
3) Research before you choose your home health care agency
It is important to understand that when you are in the look out for a home health care agency; it is a company that you seek to assist in providing care for your parents or other senior members. Therefore, prior to finalizing the agency, please make sure that you are satisfied with the care they provide. This can be only achieved by allocating some time and meeting some officials of this company. Make sure you question them on any uncertainties you may have; do not shy away from questions. Don't be concerned about wasting their time and don't be reluctant on asking the same questions again if you are not satisfied or do not remember.
These are some of the questions you should be asking or at least researching on your own before finalizing on an agency:-
Are they licensed by the state?
Are they certified by Medicare/Medicaid and/or The Joint Commission?
Do they provide confirmation or proof of malpractice and liability insurance?
What services are provided?
Can they provide all the services you require?
Are services available 24/7?
Does the agency provide services immediately?
Can they handle the preparations required to deliver and maintain the medical equipment?
Can they provide training for use of any medical equipment by family caregivers?
How long have they been in this business?
Do they provide references?
Are they inspected by an outside organization?
What is the cost of the services that is necessary for the elder?
Are they certified to be paid by Medicare and Medicaid?
Do they bill Medicare or insurance companies directly?
Is there a minimum number of hours per day or per week the services are provided? If so, how many hours?
Are there deposits, fees, or any extra costs?
How much cost you can claim for by your insurance company and how much you will have to pay?
If you have to pay part of the costs, will the agency provide a sliding scale based on income?
Do they provide payment plans?
How often you have to pay?
Staff and Training
Do they require employee references?, If so, do they verify them?
What are the qualifications of the employees?
What are the job descriptions of the employees?
Does the employee have special training once hired? Will the training be ongoing?