The Company Behind the Caregiver: What to Look For
Choosing a home care provider has significant emotional implications. You’re not just buying a product. You’re buying services that are deeply personal. That’s why it’s vital to know the company that stands behind the caregiver who eventually comes into your loved one’s home. As you consider different home care providers, consider the provider’s values as a measure of the care they deliver. By seeking a company with high standards and sound values, you’re likely to find the caregivers they employ are competent, compatible and compassionate.
Reputation Speaks Volumes
A provider’s reputation speaks volumes. If an agency is known for providing quality care, that’s because of exceptional caregiving talent. Quality agencies perform routine background checks to ensure these caregivers are suited for the intensely personal and often difficult task. Yes, caring for older adults can be extremely rewarding and enjoyable, but also extremely difficult — be it physical demands such as lifting and transferring, behavioral concerns because of what could be dementia, being caught between family members who disagree and more. Sometimes, the older adult is extremely resistant to help and will refuse to have a stranger in the home. Professional caregivers from quality agencies understand the family dynamics they’re entering and are prepared for the initial rapport-building period, however long it takes. This creates a quality workforce that will be loyal and committed to establishing a successful relationship with the client — and the client’s family.
The Power of a National Network
Caregiving takes a village, and when you add a professional caregiver to your team, you want one that has a strong team behind her! An agency that deploys a national network of franchisees gives you the supportive safety net you need, wherever you need it. Because when you’ve set aside time and money to a professional caregiver, you need that caregiver to show up: especially if that care is tied to a special vacation you’ve been planning for years and have paid for in advance, or if you need to have surgery to maintain your health. A national network ensures a professional caregiver can be deployed to meet your loved one’s needs anywhere; there are no blackout dates or locations when partnering with a national brand.
The Quality of Care
Going with the lowest bidder may incur costs not measurable in dollars alone. While it’s normal for caregivers and older loved ones to worry about the cost of care, be wary of a company that promises “minimal upfront costs” or a lack of transparency about the real costs. Today’s home care market is crowded with smaller, independent agencies, many of which are driven by apps and technology platforms. But the consistency of care is essential to superior home care, and an agency that regularly trains its staff to evolve alongside care methods, and offers certain care certifications can confidently stand behind the care delivered.
Listening to Learn
When you’re still getting to know a home care company, you want to see that they’re listening to what you’re saying — about your loved one’s needs and your own. You want to know they value your input because your involvement may not just end when a professional caregiver enters the home. It’s critical that the incoming caregiver recognize this fact and affirms the value of your ongoing insights and partnership. Adding a professional caregiver to the team requires a blending of personalities — and listening to learn from each other is key to preventing significant conflicts in that process and providing an optimal environment for care.
Flexible Care Options
A company with a long history of serving seniors and their families understands the unique needs of aging seniors and provide different levels of care to meet. Your aging loved one may only need light assistance around the house for just a few hours a week. Alternatively, maybe your loved one could use more hands-on daily personal care. As the needs of care evolve, the provider can present an idea for increasing the level of care in a way that’s respectful to the family and understanding of their dynamics and initial decision. Partner with a company with a long-standing reputation for delivering exceptional care and you’ll experience a more personal, more rewarding caliber of care when it comes to meeting your loved one’s needs.
Training is vital to developing and retaining a strong workforce. Make sure the home care companies you’re reviewing have an active educational component. A company that prioritizes continued professional development wants to send out professional caregivers who will be prepared for a variety of needs and challenging family dynamics, and ultimately add value to your family’s caregiving situation. Consider an agency whose caregivers are certified in specialized care like dementia training, fall-prevention strategies and social isolation remedies. This demonstrates a commitment to a higher standard of care. And by choosing a company that is committed to best practices in home care, everyone wins: the family and the care recipient.
Serves the Whole Family
Does the company recognize that a professional caregiver is there to support and serve the whole family, not just the senior? Do they stress the importance of continued coordination and clear communication with the primary caregiver for the best success? Home care is a family affair, so consider a company built on a family-focused foundation. For more information on what superior home care looks like, click here.