As part of my Caregiver Friday series, I thought it might be good to begin with (what I consider!) to be the basics. 14 questions to ask your home care team is a good place to start when beginning down the road of looking for carers.
Deciding that you need help caring for a loved one is a difficult decision. It is usually a decision that comes about as a result of sheer exhaustion. It comes when families know that no matter how much they try they cannot meet the needs of the person they are caring for. Sometimes the need for home care comes from the fact that we tend to listen to strangers rather than our family. And more often than not, it is done so that we can keep our family at home, instead of sending them to a care home. Regardless of the reason you decided to enlist a home care team, just know that it is done through love.
In my experience men will ask for help quicker than women will and women feel more guilty about the fact that they are unable to provide the care that (usually) their husband needs.
This article is discusses the most frequent questions that I am asked and a few that I fell that are important to make sure you ask. Just remember that you need to ‘click’ with the person coming into your home too. They can give you all the best answers but you need to feel comfortable with them in your home.
1 – Do I have to be referred by a doctor or the hospital?
2 – Is there a minimum charge?
3 – How long must I wait between the assessment and the implementation of care?
4 – Can your agency respond to a request for care at ‘short notice’? Does this cost extra?
5 – Will there be continuity of care with the carers or will there be a different carer every time?
6 – Can you provide services outside of ‘normal’ working hours, i.e. holidays, weekends, nights?
7 – Who do I call in case of an emergency?
8 – How do you train your staff? Do they have post school education in care?
9 – What references do your staff have? Do you have comprehensive insurance?
10 – Are any of your staff trained in specialised areas such as certain diseases and injuries?
11 – Will my insurance company pay the bill?
12 – How long have you been established and what is your experience in this area?
13 – Are your health care standards accredited for excellence?
14 – Do you have a list of the services that you provide?
All reputable care agencies should provide an initial assessment. During the assessment you will have time to discuss some of the above questions. You may find that some of them are not applicable, or that you may have more to add but these questions are a great starting point.
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