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Useful Tips: How to Find the Right Home Health Agency/Caregiver

Updated: Dec 4, 2020


There comes a phase in everyone’s life when we could benefit from a little extra assistance, no matter how self-sufficient and active we have been earlier. This can be either basic personal care or long-term care as performing daily chores and carrying out activities of daily living gets tougher and more challenging. While age can bring changes to the overall health and well-being of a person, people always wish to maintain a well-balanced lifestyle from the comfort of their home. In fact, this is important to keep ourselves satisfied and happy in the later stages of our lives.


Any help from family and friends is certainly important, but many a time, seniors may require a dedicated in-home caregiver to assist them with their daily activities and provide them with the required medical care if necessary. Whether you need round-the-clock assistance or just a few hours of service, you can hire a professional caregiver to take care of you or your elderly family member.


Finding a suitable caregiver for in-home assistance can be a challenge, but there are several steps you can take to pick the right one. There are two basic ways to find an in-home caregiver: hire an individual caregiver on your own, or with the guidance and oversight of an in-home care agency. Most families and seniors will prefer an in-home care agency as this offers more peace of mind in terms of handling employee payroll, taxes, background checks, driving history checks, caregiver supervision, insurance claim processing, and communication to any family members or doctor.


Here are the six important steps that can help you pick the right in-home care agency for yourself or your aging family member.


1. Discuss with Your Friends, Family, and Doctor: Speak straightforwardly and honestly to the ones who don’t just know you, but truly care for you. Getting their honest feedback on the type of care you or your family member need is critical to getting the right assistance. Your family physician can assist in giving you the right set of directions to pass on to the caregiver or home health agency.

Since you may already be receiving some assistance from your family and friends, it is important to see whether you will be receiving the same level of care from the professional caregiver. Moreover, your loved ones can highlight those areas of care that you might have failed to notice. It is therefore important to get suggestions from your closed ones so that you have a clearer idea of the type of care you or your elderly family member need.


2. Analyze Your In-Home Care Needs: After a discussion with the people you trust, it’s time to pen down what type of assistance you need and how often you will require it. Reviewing your instrumental activities of daily living (IADL) and activities of daily living (ADL) will aid in defining those areas, where you may need assistance from the caregiver. Most of the ADLs are usually performed by people on their own, which include:

  • Bathing & Grooming

  • Dressing

  • Toileting

  • Continence

  • Transferring

  • Eating

3. Define Your Budget: Define your budget before you approach an in-home care service provider. This is important to know how much you can afford to spend for assistance from a caregiver. Be direct with your budget so they can work with you to see if achieving your caregiver goals are easily attainable. If they aren’t from a budget perspective, an in-home care provider will usually try their best to accommodate you and find an acceptable middle ground. They can also contact your insurance providers to make sure you get all the benefits available to you and minimize any out of pocket expenses.


4. Searching for In-Home Care Agency: Ideally, the task of finding the right in-home care agency shouldn’t be difficult. In fact, you can move in the right direction using the following resources:

  • Referrals from Family, Friends, and Doctors: Suggestions from people you know and trust.

  • In-Home Care Directories: Online directories provide details and contact information of local agencies, offering in-home care.

  • Your Insurance Providers: They can refer you to local agencies, specializing in offering in-home care.

5. Interviewing: When you have selected a few, it’s the time to speak with them to know if they can offer you the kind of assistance you need for yourself or your elderly family member. A reputable agency will arrange for a home visit and even conduct an interview at your place. While they will ask you questions to find what type of in-home care you are looking for during the interview, you should also take this as an opportunity to confirm a few crucial things before making a selection. Follow these guidelines on what you need to confirm while interviewing in-home care agencies:

  • Do they perform background checks for their caregivers?

  • Level of training, experience, and licenses their caregivers have

  • Availability of the agency/caregiver – hourly, daily, weekly, and so on

  • Service cost – pay per visit or hourly wages

  • Payment compensation for sick days, holidays, or vacation

  • Arrangement of meals for the caregiver during service hours

6. Picking the Right Match: Besides knowing your budget and the exact type of assistance you need, getting the right match is very important. Reason being, the client-caregiver relation is not just about proper execution of day-to-day tasks and chores, but building a sense of mutual trust and companionship.

A caregiver plays a critical role in the life of a senior. In fact, in many cases, it can be the strongest and most stable relationship for an elderly person at home. Thus, you should be clear about your expectations, and honest about your personality traits and common habits.

Although most professional caregivers are naturally adaptable and specially trained to properly attend and offer the right care to seniors, you should never hesitate mentioning your preferences in the first place. Remember that the foundation of a good client-caregiver relationship rests on perseverance, patience, respect, and friendly demeanor.

While building companionship and a relationship of trust and respect can take some extra time, chances are there that you could eventually realize that the match is not the right one. In such cases, hiring an in-home care agency can be beneficial as they can intervene in to provide you with the right solution – even if it means replacing the caregiver.

At Unified Pledge we strive to make this process as easy and comforting as possible. An in-home evaluation and care plan estimate is always free, and we encourage people to ask as many questions as possible so we can provide a care plan that accomplishes your goals with a caregiver that brightens your day. Here are a few steps we take to provide our patients and their family members with peace of mind:

  • Level II FBI background checks of all staff

  • Driving history checks

  • Companions, health aides, LPNs are our direct employees and not independent contractors

  • Constant communication to patients, family, and care team

  • Registered Nurse supervision is ongoing with every care plan

For a free consultation or to ask any additional questions, we encourage you to contact us.



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