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What to Look for in a Senior Care Agency

If a senior reaches a point where he or she needs care, but wants to maintain a level of independence at home, in-home care is a good option to look into. If you’re looking to find home care for your loved one, you’ll want to find an agency that is compassionate, qualified, and professional. So what does that entail exactly? Here are a few things to consider when searching for quality in-home senior care.

Are they Licensed and Qualified?

Is the agency fully licensed by the state? Most states require that home care agencies have a license and be reviewed regularly. You may also want to find out how long the agency has been providing home care, although experience does not always equal quality. Nowadays, you can find star-ratings and reviews online for almost anything, including home care agencies. You could also ask the agency for a list of references, which are usually doctors, discharge planners, and other clients who are familiar with the agency.

Qualified agencies will make a visit to your home before setting you up for care. A registered nurse will perform an assessment to determine the needs of the senior, whether medical or non-medical. Does the provider meet all of the senior’s needs? Some seniors may also have special needs, like physical therapy, occupational therapy, or language/cultural preferences.

Safety should be a top priority when looking for home care. One in ten seniors living at home suffers from some form of elder abuse, and it’s an issue that often goes under the radar. Be sure that the agency you choose performs extensive background checks on their caregivers. You can never be too careful when hiring someone to come into your home. It’s also a good idea to choose an agency that hires employees – rather than a registry or individual – who are covered by workers comp and liability laws.

What is the Quality of Care?

Are the agency’s caregivers trained, certified, and offered continuing education? Even non-medical care requires certain levels of experience. It’s important to find someone who is trained to assist seniors with activities of daily living – bathing, dressing, walking up the stairs, preparing meals, etc. Some seniors will also want the same caregiver every day, so be sure to ask the agency if they are able to keep the same caregiver on a case consistently.

Does the agency involve the family in the care plan? A good agency will not only include a senior’s loved ones in the development of the plan, but also keep them in the loop with updates on changes in the care plan and caregiver, how the senior is doing, and emergency situations.

Perhaps the most important thing to consider is what type of caregivers the agency hires. Are they compassionate and understanding? Are they reliable and punctual? Will they respect your senior loved one, and also treat them as a friend? It will be easier for the senior and family members to transition if they know they are in good hands with their caregiver.

What About Financial Care Coordination and Help with Payment Sources?

Just because a home care agency is licensed and has great caregivers doesn’t make them the right fit. Frequently, one of the most difficult aspects of handling in-home care is dealing with funding sources and payment for services. There are so many things that can go into this – is care being funded by a long-term care insurance policy? Is the person being cared for a veteran or the surviving spouse of a veteran, and is the Aid and Attendance pension involved? Does the senior prefer to convert a life insurance policy to pay for in-home care? If your answer is “yes” to any of these questions, you’ll want to go with an agency that can help you manage these aspects of your care. Interestingly enough, this is something many home care agencies claim to do, but that very few actually help you with in meaningful ways.

One of the great things about Amada Senior Care is that when it comes to long-term care insurance, we can file your claim for you, handle billing directly with the claims department, and completely remove the burden of paperwork from you or a loved one. We can do the same with a life insurance policy conversion, and when it comes to working with the VA – we’re here to help you understand how to apply for and get the benefits your entitled to.

Let Amada Senior Care Help You

At Amada, we look for caregivers who embody what we call the “6 Cs” – compassion, connection, confidence, commitment, communication, and capability. We provide training and education opportunities for our caregivers to build their skillsets continuously. We choose caregivers who not only are qualified, but also dedicated to enriching the lives of seniors and their families. Our online family portal allows families to know exactly what type of care their loved one receives every day.

We also understand that it may not be in the best interest of a senior to remain in their home, which is why we offer advisory services for the many options available for senior living. Amada Senior Care will also help seniors and their families navigate the options available for funding home care, like long-term care insurance policies and veterans’ benefits. Our team of experts will work to find the best care options for your situation. Click here to find an Amada Senior Care location near you.

 

 

Written by Jeremy Brooker and Taylor French, Amada contributors.

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