When choosing an agency to provide in-home care or “private duty” services for you or a loved one, there are a number of important questions you should ask. Since at home senior care is not regulated in many states, there are many pitfalls that can result in unanticipated expenses or unsafe care.
° 1. Is the agency licensed and certified?
° 2. Does the agency provide care 24/7, including holidays and weekends?
° 3. How does the agency assure continuity of care?
° 4. Will the caregiver be an employee of the agency or an employee of the client?
° 5. Will the same caregiver be assigned all the time?
° 6. What is the agency’s process for checking the background and competency of the caregivers it hires?
° 7. Does the agency carry liability insurance?
° 8. What type of supervision is provided to the caregiver?
° 9. Does the agency have written descriptions of services, hours of operation, fees, confidentiality, complaint procedures, and emergency arrangements?
Is the agency licensed and certified?In our area, a license is not required to provide supportive private care, often called “Private Duty” home care. This creates a challenge, since virtually anyone can open a private in-home care company! Freedom Care is certified by the Home Care Standards Bureau, which means the agency has to meet strict quality standards and is evaluated on a regular basis. It means that you can rest assured that your care will be safe and that there is someone you can turn to if you need to.
Does the agency provide care 24/7, including holidays and weekends?A quality senior care company will not only ensure that caregivers are available around the clock, they will also make sure that they have someone available at all times to work on replacing ill caregivers when they cannot cover a shift. Freedom Care has staff available regardless of when help is needed and also has a Staffing Coordinator on call at all times to address any issues that arise, including re-staffing to cover unanticipated caregiver illnesses.
How does the agency assure continuity of care?Most Metro Area home care companies are not certified by any agency, do not have skilled staff, and may not be reliable for in-home care because they are not overseen by anyone or agency. With Freedom Care, you can rest assured that your care needs will be met. We offer a complete list of in-home care services.
Will the caregiver be an employee of the agency or an employee of the client?There are agencies that connect senior caregivers with clients (registries), but these caregivers are not employed by the agency. With this type of caregiver, it is the client, not the agency that is responsible for overtime wages, payroll taxes, social security withholdings, unemployment coverage, Worker’s Compensation coverage and liability insurance. If you are told that the caregiver is self-employed, you may still be held responsible for these liabilities. Don’t become an accidental employer! Should you choose Freedom Care, you can rest assured that you are working with not only top rated caregivers, but also with an agency that covers its employees fully in all of these areas.
Will the same caregiver be assigned all the time?Continuity in caregivers benefits everyone. Freedom Care works hard to match senior caregivers to the needs and preferences of clients and to provide the same caregiver for most if not all of the care requested. Should a client feel that his/her caregiver is not a good match at any point in time, Freedom Care takes immediate steps to identify a replacement that is.
What is the agency’s process for checking the background and competency of the caregivers it hires?When it comes to inviting senior caregivers into the home of an ill or otherwise vulnerable individual, the highest priority is assuring that these individuals are top rated caregivers who are qualified, caring, trustworthy, experienced, and safe. At Freedom Care we protect clients and their belongings. All of our professional and paraprofessional caregivers are rigorously background checked, fingerprinted, tested for competency, insured, bonded and randomly drug-screened. They must be in good health, have good references and have a good driving record. They also must have experience caring for people and must complete ongoing education to stay employed by Freedom Care.
Does the agency carry liability insurance?A client should not have to worry about loss or damage while receiving care in the home. Freedom Care carries full liability insurance to protect its clients in the event that damage or other loss occurs.
What type of supervision is provided to the caregiver?Caregivers frequently run into situations where they need guidance from a nurse. These situations include figuring out what to do about a client’s health problem, deciding if care requested by a client or family member is safe and appropriate for their level of training, determining how to move or walk a client safely and other situations.
Freedom Care caregivers are overseen by a Registered Nurse and this nurse visits the client at the beginning of care to evaluate needs and works with the client and family to set up a good plan for the caregiver to follow. The nurse then revisits approximately every 60 days to supervise the caregiver, to check on how things are going and to make changes in the plan if necessary. She also speaks to caregivers between visits to make sure things are going well.
Does the agency have written descriptions of services, hours of operation, fees, confidentiality, complaint procedures, and emergency arrangements?A quality homecare company will protect its clients by operating according to clear policies and procedures and will communicate those policies and procedures to its clients. Freedom Care provides a description of its policies regarding services, hours of operation, eligibility requirements, fees, patient rights, confidentiality, complaint procedures, and emergency arrangements to all clients.
Have more questions about our in-home care services? Contact Freedom Care today!
The Freedom Care Guarantee
Our commitment is to provide the best service. We hold ourselves accountable. If there is a problem, we make it right. If we are unable to resolve the issue, we refer clients to a service we feel would be best for them. This is our guarantee… personal, quality caregiving.