The Company Behind the Caregiver: What to Look For
When you search for home care services, you’re not looking to buy a product off the shelf. You're making an altruistic decision to preserve a loved one’s independence, dignity, and quality of life.
That's why it's vital to do thorough research. When you evaluate home care companies, consider their values to measure the support they deliver. You want the caregivers they employ to be competent, compatible, and compassionate.
What to Look for When Choosing a Home Care Agency
As you begin your home care journey, here are seven important aspects or features you should look for in a home care company:
- Reputation Speaks Volumes
If an agency is known for providing quality care, it’s because of exceptional caregiver talent. Quality agencies perform in-depth interviews and routine background checks to ensure caregivers are suited for the job. Professional caregivers from quality agencies understand how to navigate the initial rapport-building period and interpersonal dynamics. This creates a loyal and dedicated workforce that will establish a successful relationship with you, your loved one, and other family members.
- Power of a National Network
When you add a professional caregiver to your team, you want to be sure they have a strong team behind them. A national network of agencies gives your loved one the supportive safety net they need. For example, if your caregiver can’t visit due to unexpected circumstances, a national network ensures a backup professional caregiver can be assigned to assist your loved one.
- Quality of Care
While it's normal to worry about the cost of home care, be cautious of a company that promises "minimal upfront costs" or is not transparent about the actual expenses. Today’s home care market is crowded with smaller, independent agencies that lack the experience and accountability of a national network. Focus on an agency, like Visiting Angels, that offers resources for its caregivers to help them enhance their knowledge and skillsets.
- Listening to Learn
You need caregivers and coordinators to understand your loved one's needs and your own. Adding a professional caregiver to the team requires a blending of personalities — and listening to each other provides an optimal environment for care. A quality agency will have an existing framework to provide personalized support, as well as a history of facilitating outstanding client/caregiver relationships.
- Flexible Care Options
A company with a long history of serving seniors and families understands their unique needs and provides different levels of personalized care. Your aging loved one may only need light assistance around the house for a few hours a week. Alternatively, your loved one may need more hands-on daily personal care. As your loved one’s needs evolve, a professional caregiver can make recommendations to ensure they remain safe and comfortable.
- Education Matters
Training is vital to developing and retaining a strong workforce. Make sure the home care companies you're reviewing have an active educational component. Consider an agency that prioritizes continued professional development and trains caregivers in specialized areas, such as dementia care, fall prevention, and social isolation remedies. This demonstrates a commitment to providing the highest standard of care.
- Support for the Whole Family
Professional caregivers support a senior and the rest of the family. They will coordinate plans and provide clear communication with you. Home care is a family affair, so consider a company built on a family-focused foundation.
Contact Visiting Angels
Want to know how Visiting Angels can help your loved one? Contact your local home care office today to see how you and your family can benefit from Visiting Angels' customized programs and services.