A quick search online will give you hundreds of options to choose from. But how do you know which home care agencies or independent Personal Support Workers (PSW’s) are right for you and your family?
When choosing a home care provider, there are some key things to look for. You’re letting a stranger into your home or the home of an ageing loved one, after all. Here’s a list of tips to help you choose the right home care provider for your needs.
What to look for in a home care agency
A fancy website can make any home care agency look impressive and professional online, but an attractive website doesn’t mean professional and reliable service! Healthy Look for the following things when choosing your home care provider.
The address, local phone number, and the owner’s details should be readily available online and/or in their brochure. Many home care agencies provide only an “800” number with no local contact details to be found. You should be able to call or find the home care agency closest to you without any trouble or confusion.
If a home care agency has a high turnover when it comes to their staff, then chances are their employees are not happy. The last thing you want is a caregiver who is unhappy in their role. An agency that values its employees and rewards them for great service will have long-term employees. This is important when building a rapport and bonding with your caregiver. Familiarity can make all the difference when the time comes to accept at home care.
Thorough hiring process
Hiring a PSW should entail more than a quick look at a certificate. A reputable home care agency should have an intense screening process that looks at a potential employee’s background, credentials, and personality. Some home care agencies rely on their own training programs rather than hiring qualified caregivers who possess a community college Personal Support Worker certificate or equivalent. An extensive screening process is a must because anything less could be putting you or your loved one at risk.
Caregivers with at least 2 years’ experience
Along with proper training in the field, you should ensure that a home care agency’s caregivers have at least 2 years of professional experience. A qualified and experienced caregiver has a better understanding of a recipient’s needs and how to best provide it.
A registered nurse on staff
Even if your or your loved ones home care needs are more about help with daily chores rather than medical needs, the home care agency you choose should have a registered nurse on staff. A registered nurse should be available to assess health and caregiving needs so that you get the best possible care.
We never know what tomorrow will bring, but whether it’s an illness or surgery, changes in mobility, or just a change in scheduled appointments or commitments; your home care provider should be flexible enough to accommodate those changes. They should offer a wide range of home care services and offer the flexibility to change your services as needed. There’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all service when it comes to senior care. Your home care agency should be able to cater your care to your individual needs.
If you have any questions about how to choose the right home care provider or would like to know more about our varied home care services and qualified and personable caregivers, give us a call. We’re here to help.
David Porter, CPCA
Living Assistance Services – Senior Home Care