Deciding to entrust an elderly loved one with a stranger is too scary a thought for most people to entertain. In a time when feelings of guilt may be creeping in for having to resort to outsourcing the care of a loved one, the additional worry for their safety can make an already difficult situation seem exponentially worse. Knowing which questions to ask a potential in-home care provider agency can help alleviate some of the anxiety involved in making the decision. Here are some examples of the type of questions that families should ask.

1. How established is the elder care company in the community?

An older company will have a longer, more proven track record in senior care than a newly established business. Since the companies are audited by governmental agencies each year for code and policy violations, better established companies will have more information on file regarding documented incidences of violations.

2. What are people saying about the agency?

Word of mouth advertising is the best way to get truthful information regarding a company’s operating procedures. If the clients are well-served by the agency, the families’ feedback to others is going to reflect that. However, if the families of the loved ones enrolled in the agency’s services have complaints about the agency or its providers, their feedback is going to reflect that also.

3. What kind of training does the elderly care agency provide for its employees?

A reputable in-home care agency will have ongoing training for their employees and staff to ensure that they are up to date with the latest information in the industry and that they are armed with the proper tools to provide excellent home care services. This additional training is passed on to the seniors in increased quality of care that the staff is able to provide.

4. What is the status of the agency’s licensing and bonding?

It is prudent to investigate whether an in-home care agency’s operational licensing and insurance bond are in active status. Any lapse in policy coverage could signal a red flag.

5. Does the agency have any accreditations?

National accreditation organizations evaluate home care agencies, at the agency’s request, and award the center with merits or accreditations for quality health care services. Some of the organizations that families can contact regarding an in-home care provider’s accreditations are the National Home Caring Council, the National Committee For Quality Assurance, and the Community Health Accreditation Program.

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