Articles of Interest


How to Ensure You’re Getting Superior Home Care Help for Your Senior Loved One

You’ve known for some time that Mom needs help. And it’s getting to the point where you worry about her when you’re not around.

Maybe you’ve discussed professional home care services with your siblings. Everyone agrees that Mom deserves the comfort, familiarity and independence superior home care services offer. But how would you know she’s even getting it?

Here is a simple checklist to help guide you through the process:

1) Your home care agency rep is a good listener.

Before any consultation, before any care plan, there needs to be a conversation. And frankly, the care needs to be on your terms. As a care provider, no service will be successful without knowing your senior loved one’s pain points and your desires for help.

Superior home care agencies offer an avenue to share your experiences. Sometimes, that's just what you need. And if you don't feel like home care provider is listening to and understanding you, that could be the tip of the iceberg.

Remember, the relationship of care begins with the first conversation.

2) Your home care agency creates a living, breathing care plan.

Every home care agency needs to create a unique plan for care. But the plan is only the beginning. As your senior loved one requires more dependence, his or her needs will evolve too. A care plan is vital to not only care but the coordination and evolution of care.

If you have hired home care services and you have no idea who’s doing what for your senior loved one, you’re probably not receiving superior home care.

3) Your professional caregiver is a great match for your senior loved one.

It’s not guesswork. It shouldn’t be random. Your mom or dad is unique. Home care agencies need to accommodate the customers they serve. The strengths and expertise of your professional caregiver should relate to what your loved one needs.

Personality and expertise are integral components of care. If the caregiver and care recipient aren’t a perfect match immediately, challenge your home care provider to find the perfect match. It’s true, sometimes there may be an initial period of awkwardness, but that's when real relationships are made. And if your loved one doesn't feel that connection, if you do not see that connection, explore other options.

4) Your professional caregiver is providing care notes.

Care notes are a great method of keeping up with your loved one’s care. And more, care notes show you the caregiver is paying attention.

These are especially useful for long-distance scenarios where constant contact with family isn't possible. Families living long distances away depend on things like care notes to ensure all relevant parties are on the same page, and more importantly that your loved one's needs are being addressed.

5) Your professional caregiver has a special bond with your family.

This doesn’t happen overnight. This happens after all the initial awkwardness and trial period. So reserve your judgment at first. After some time, the caregiver and your family should develop a special connection. Of course, every family will have a different level of comfort. But if the relationship is working, you’ll know it, because it’s painfully obvious when it isn’t.

And when it comes down to it, that's what separates professional home care from someone “helping out.” Professional home care goes further. A task-oriented focus is great for ensuring things are getting done, but for the sake of superior home care, the relationship should be deeper than a to-do list.

So take your time, do your due diligence. Keep your standards high. This is a difficult and delicate adjustment for your senior loved one and the only way it happens successfully is through trust – the kind of trust established from a positive, meaningful relationship between caregiver and recipient.

Each Visiting Angels agency is a franchise that is independently owned and operated. The Franchisor, Living Assistance Services Inc., does not control or manage the day to day business operations of any Visiting Angels franchised agency.