One of the things I have done a great deal of this past year has been getting out and visiting a variety of home health care agencies. I have been able to see their offices and meet the owners and the people that are in charge of hiring staff and making things happen for their customers.
I have been both happily surprised and somewhat shocked in what I have seen. What it means for you as a family member is that like many other things we do in life it takes time to find the best care. You have to talk to a few different companies and really get to know the people and the procedures they utilize before you can be sure you will get the best possible care.
When we are in need of care for mom or dad we are usually very stressed and often in a rush to get the care as soon as possible. It is really important to take your time with this part of the process. You are the customer and the companies want your business. You need to make sure that you take a look at the questions I have compiled in the printable section of my website so you do not forget to ask those important questions you may not have thought about.
One important tip to keep in mind is that all of these agencies are looking for caregivers most of the time. It is very difficult to find good quality caregivers for this type of work because it is not a high paid position. Some companies may pay a few bucks more than another but the pay is not high for this type of difficult work. They are all pulling from the same sources and using referrals. Do not let any of the agencies try and tell you that they have a different or better way to find caregivers than another company. They are all doing similar things. What it comes down to is the company, the owner, the specific pay and finding that person that wants to be doing this type of work.
Also remember that you can get a feel for a company and how they do things by going into the office and meeting with the staff. You can also ask them for references of other families that have used them.
Do not just look online, call a number and go with it. You will feel it if the company is a good one. However, no matter how great a company is remember that it may take a few caregivers to find the one that works for your loved one. Personalities differ and finding that right combination may take a few tries so do not give up on a good company if the first caregiver doesn't work out.