“The caregiver assumes a great deal of responsibility, so we strongly suggest taking the time to assess several aspects of the caregiver and homecare agency before entering into a caregiver/patient relationship,” says Maguire.
Take the necessary precautions before selecting a homecare agency or caregiver and use the following tips as a guideline to help find a compassionate, qualified and dedicated homecare provider.
1. Know your needs: Before beginning the selection process, assess what your exact needs are. Will your loved one need hands-on care or someone to fill a companion role? Does your loved one require skilled medical assistance or specialized care such as hospice care or mobility needs? Evaluate exactly what you are looking for and be prepared to discuss details.
2. Interview the agency: Every homecare agency uses a different interview and hiring process. Make sure your expectations align with those of the agency before selecting a provider. Select a homecare agency that requires RN supervision for caregivers and Joint Commission accreditation to ensure the highest level of care. In addition, familiarize yourself with the agency’s sick and emergency policies and know what the protocol is if a caregiver is not able to make a scheduled visit.
3. Check for relevant previous experience: A recent study conducted by Northwestern University revealed that more than 67 percent of homecare agencies require previous experience before hiring employees. However, when asked to clarify experience, the answers were vague. Be sure to select an agency that requires relevant previous experience, or has extensive training before allowing caregivers to work alone.
4. Ensure qualifications: Make sure the homecare provider can perform the tasks and responsibilities based on your loved one’s needs. If specialized care is required, make sure the agency is licensed to provide such care and has RNs or specially trained caregivers who can perform your specialized care needs.
5. Make a connection: Certain homecare agencies allow you to interview potential caregivers before committing to one. This provides the opportunity to make sure personalities do not conflict and can also be a great time to inquire about previous experience and background information.
About BrightStar Care:
Founded in 2002 as a family business, BrightStar Care® provides the full continuum of homecare and childcare, including adult and elder care, newborn care, babysitter, and nanny services. BrightStar delivers skilled person-centered care to clients one-on-one in their home or wherever and whenever they need care through its more than 250 independently owned and operated locations nationwide. The Gurnee, Illinois, based company also offers medical staffing services for individuals, families, healthcare facilities, and anywhere healthcare staff is needed. For more information, visit them online at www.BrightStarCare.com, on Facebook at “BrightStar Care” or on Twitter @brightstarcare.
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