Are you looking to find a way to give your aging loved one a little extra companionship or support in their home? Finding a home care agency in Illinois or Indiana can be challenging. The sheer amount of agencies in the area is enough to make anyone feel overwhelmed, and it can feel confusing as you start to narrow down your choices.
It’s important to take the time you need to research a home care agency well so that you can be confident your loved one will be safe and well cared for. Here are a few questions you can ask yourself and prospective home care agencies as you begin your search.
What types of assistance do you provide?
First things first, make sure the home care agencies you are looking at provide the type of assistance your loved one needs. Home care agencies generally provide services that fall into one of two categories: medical and non-medical care. Medical care includes skilled nursing care that must be prescribed by a physician and overseen by a nurse or therapist. Medical services might include physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, or wound care.
Non-medical services are those that do not need to be prescribed by a physician. These services can include assistance with activities of daily living, like dressing or bathing, as well as meal preparation, transportation assistance, grocery shopping, companionship, or light housekeeping.
If you aren’t sure what type of services your loved one needs, jot down a list of tasks you see them struggling with on a regular basis. You can also talk with their physician to get their opinion of which type of agency to pursue.
Does the agency serve my location?
Home care agencies typically serve a general area, but it is important to confirm that your loved one’s home is within the boundaries of their service area.
Do I need to commit to an hourly minimum each week?
Many home care agencies offer flexible scheduling, which means they will work with you and your loved one a few weeks in advance to schedule in the hours they need assistance. However, other agencies do require an hourly minimum per week, which is less flexible for the family members to adjust as needed.
Is there an option for VA benefits?
If your loved one is qualified to receive Veterans Assistance benefits from an approved home care agency, be sure you are only looking at agencies that are pre-approved by the VA.
Are caregivers reliable, friendly, and experienced?
Choose to only work with a home care agency that is dedicated to hiring and empowering the best caregivers in the area. Your loved one will want a consistent caregiver in order to build trust and create a meaningful relationship, so ask about staffing consistency. You can also inquire about background checks and training programs to ensure the home care agency stands behind its caregivers.
Does the agency have experience with a specific condition?
If your loved one has a specific medical condition or challenge, determine if the home care agency you are speaking with has experience with that condition. Specialty programs can ensure your loved one is receiving care from a team that understands the disease process.
Making a decision about a home care agency requires you to take the time to research local agencies. However, it also relies on your interaction with the agency representatives. At Lovebird HomeCare, we genuinely enjoy getting to know our clients and their families so we can serve them better. Call us today to tell us more about your situation and to ask any questions you might have.