When your mom and dad start to struggle with day-to-day activities because of old age, the responsibility lies on you and your siblings to decide. Should you send them to an assisted living institution or should you let them stay at home where they are most comfortable? Over the recent years more and more families have decided on the latter option mainly because parents want to live where they are most comfortable. Living at home through old age has its challenges but it also allows them the freedom and independence that they need.
This is why the trend in elderly care has shifted to a different direction nowadays. There are now a growing number of agencies and registries that offer home care for the elderly and the industry is projected to grow even bigger in the years to come. Home care aides are given the task of assisting the elderly in their daily activities such as bathing, dressing, cooking meals, cleaning the home and taking care of medications.
One of the most important considerations to think about when hiring an aide is to make sure that she is properly trained to take care of everything that your parents need. There are now many agencies offering the same services so before you settle on one agency or registry you have to do extensive research first. Remember that you will be leaving the welfare of your parents into the hands of this aide so you would only want the most reliable and most efficient person to care for them. During your research make sure to take down notes and take into consideration several aspects of the company’s services.
These are some vital questions to ask before hiring a home care aide for your loved one through an agency:
1.) For how long has your agency been in the business?
This is an important question to ask because there are now so many agencies popping out almost everywhere and although they may look promising on their website or on newspaper ads, they may not have the same expertise and experience that more established agencies have. Go for agencies that have been serving families for several number of years. You will have the peace of mind in knowing that this company has the experience to back them up and that they know exactly what they are doing when it comes to training aides for the elderly.
2.) Are your workers insured?
Make sure that the company you work with has complete insurance coverage ranging from Professional and General liability, Dishonesty bond, non-onwed auto, and worker’s compensation policies. You would want to have protection because you would not want to end up paying for the home care aide’s medical bills in case something happens to them while they are caring for your parents.
3.) Do you do background investigation on your aides?
This is probably the most important question that you will need to ask the agency. There are so many suspicious characters that look for jobs as home care aides and it would probably make you shudder to think that they might be the ones who will end up caring for your senior parents. Ask the agency about the process that they go through in doing a background investigation on their employees. Do they investigate the person’s past employments in the last three to five years? If the agency can provide you with a written reference check report that would definitely be a plus.
4.) Do your employees get training and assistance from a licensed or a registered nurse?
Well-established agencies employ a nurse in their team to give additional training and education to caregivers. Before an aide is assigned to a home, they will learn to identify different safety hazards, recognize health symptoms, establish and follow basic hygiene standards and many more. Having a nurse on hand will also assure you that when your parents will require special medical attention they are just a phone call away to provide the elderly with what they need.
5.) How do you go about your recruitment and hiring process?
Agencies with good reputation often have minimum requirements for candidates who want to become caregivers. They will require them to have a certain number of years of experience under their belt and they will have to go through a face-to-face interview that allows the agency to check their demeanor. Only go for those agencies that have strict standards in terms of their recruitment process so that you know they only hire the best caregivers to send to care for your parents.
6.) Can I set an appointment with you?
Conducting your research over the phone will not be enough to assure you that you are dealing with a reliable home care registry. It would be best for you to visit their office so that you can talk to them personally and assess how organized their operations are.
The process of hiring a home care aide may be very tedious and time consuming. Remember however, that you are looking for a person to take care of your beloved parents on a full time basis. You would want only the best for them and you would want the peace of mind in knowing that they are given proper care and attention while you are at work. Doing extensive research may be hard work but the rewards of finding a reliable, kind and efficient aide for your parents are more than worth all your time and effort.