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6 Tips for Choosing the Best Home Care Provider

6 Tips to Help You Hire the Best Home Care Professional

By Cheri Platte, Managing Director, Circle of Care Home Care

When you or someone you love requires in-home care it can be overwhelming, even stressful, trying to find a dependable, qualified service. Besides worrying about letting a stranger in your home, often times service falls short of expectations, or hidden costs aren’t clearly explained up front.

To give you some background, Circle of Care clients have shared stories with us about other caregivers not having the skills needed by their loved one. One of our clients shared a story about a hired caregiver lowering their rate in exchange for lodging, but then always had friends visiting that disturbed the client’s privacy, and the caregiver helped themself to whatever food was in the house. The clients worried that some of the valuables had been stolen.

Fees may look less expensive when hiring an independent caregiver but keep in mind that as required by law, paying employment taxes and insurance can prove to be a more costly option. Also consider the additional burden of management. What happens if the Caregiver hired is unable to work? Finding a replacement falls to the client’s family.

A professional home care company such as Circle of Care, provides many advantages including background checks, being licensed by the state, state required training, employer paid employment taxes and required insurance coverages (Workers Comp, Professional/General Liability, Surety Bond).

How to Choose the Best Home Care Provider

Here are 6 tips to choosing the best home care provider. Make a well-informed decision about which individual or company will be the best home care provider in your home or loved one’s place of residency.

1. Make a List
Every individual requiring home health care is different. Their needs can range from needing assistance a few hours a day to 24/7 care. They could also have a unique condition that needs to be monitored. Based on the type of care you or your loved one needs; make notes of the specific requirements you need and ask the potential provider if they have the skill sets to provide them. A reputable care provider would take time to know what your needs are during the beginning of the conversation.

2. The Cheaper Options May Cost You More
Choosing a caregiver who charges less may seem enticing at the beginning but cutting costs here could lead to other costs that are not factored in and exposes the client to risks and liabilities. A company covering all the costs including employment taxes and insurance means you know exactly what you will need to pay without any additional expenses.

3. Make Sure It Is All in Writing
Understanding the benefits and limitations before agreeing to use a particular service can help everyone who is involved. A contract will protect you and your loved one by ensuring the company is held to particular standards and will provide the service you expect.

4. Pick a Reputable Qualified Caregiver
Needing specific care requires specialized skills, and you should make sure your chosen provider can supply the necessary home health care. Companies that provide additional skills training or background checks are more likely to provide a better service. Finding a company that conducts background checks on its employees will give you the peace of mind that your loved one is in good hands.

5. Hiring Help Should Give You Less Work, Not More
It’s better to use a company or individual who will do the admin work too. Paying for someone to look after you or someone you love helps take the stress off. Worrying about scheduling and managing the care will mean you have less time and more stress. Make sure the provider you choose has these services included in the cost.

6. Check Client Testimonials/Reviews
Find out from those who know best. Previous or current clients of the provider are the most reliable source of information. Checking references or reviews can help you get a good picture of how good or bad the service will be.

Home Care Provider FAQs

1. What is the role of a caregiver?
This role varies depending on the extent and type of care needed. It can include basic tasks such as companionship, medication reminders, light housekeeping, shopping, escort to appointments, assistance with sorting mails or paying bills, and cooking for the client. It can also extend to include 24/7 or live-in support with the caregiver monitoring the client’s health condition and provide assistance in Activities of Daily Living such as ambulation, bathing, continence, dressing, eating and toileting.

2. Why is care at home better than a nursing home?
Besides the cost benefits, aging in place is a comfortable setting that is familiar to the client, which promotes mental and spiritual health. It also helps maintain the client’s lifestyle, independence and dignity.

3. What makes a good caregiver?
A good caregiver is attentive and patient. They have the skill sets for the job and they understand the frustrations of the client and ensure they provide the level of support in a compassionate manner. A good home care provider is honest, dependable, properly trained, licensed and insured.

Cheri Platte
Managing Director

Cheri Platte has been a home care expert and professional consultant for family caregivers, and a compassionate advocate for the elderly, for over 20 years. As the Managing Director for Circle of Care, her focus is on the development of resources that support families who care for their loved ones and to provide individual home care solutions.

Her mission is to educate the public on the benefits of home care and home health, assist families in developing individual care plans, and help them plan for the advanced stages of aging. Circle of Care has a staff of over 100 caregivers who are skilled, compassionate and for over 20 years have served the community on a word-of-mouth referral basis. They are trusted by families, doctors, nurses, social workers, hospitals, nursing homes and senior communities. When not helping families in need, Cheri spends time volunteering at various organizations as well as spending time with her family and friends.

Ask us your questions, we're here to help.

Looking for a home care provider for your or a family member? Looking for more information about what is on offer? Check out Circle of Care’s home care services or contact us for assistance.


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