Choosing a Home Care Provider - The 5 Main Questions to Ask
© Danielle Robertson Consulting Pty Ltd t/as DR Care Solutions
When you are looking for in home care for your loved one, it is important to get the right service provider to assist you. Home care providers come into their home, engage in very personal activities such as showering and toileting, attending medical appointments with them or supporting them during a time of vulnerability such as after a hospital discharge. Home care providers share the most intimate part of your loved ones life.
There are now around 2,500 home care providers in Australia at this time. Many of them are new to the home care industry. This is mainly due to expansion of home care markets caused by the Aged Care Reform and the introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme. Many providers are expanding their service offerings to include home care (they may have previously provided residential care or respite care only). Other new services are entering the market from overseas, interstate or through franchise opportunities. So how do you know that you are getting a quality service, which is safe, reliable and dependable?
The 5 Main Questions To Ask Prospective In-Home Care Providers:
1. Are you an Approved Provider?
With many services entering the aged and disability markets there is a risk of using a provider who is not approved to provided funded care. Check that they are an ‘Approved Aged Care Provider’ with the necessary compliance requirements. You can also ask them for if they are accredited.
2. Can you provide me with a consistent Home Care Team?
Home Care Providers spend every day matching a delicate jigsaw puzzle of clients and carers. It is important to ensure that they can provide you with a consistent care team so that you know they will be there for your loved ones when you can’t be.
3. Can your in home care team be trained to meet the specific care needs of my loved one?
Some providers may simply allocate a carer to the service and provide a written instruction sheet of tasks to complete during the service. On the other hand, some quality providers have a thorough meet and greet process where training is provided to the care team on the individual care needs and new carers are formally introduced and trained to join the care team. Additionally, ask whether they have cultural and linguistically diversity carer base if that is a requirement.
4. What happens to our scheduled appointment when a carer is not available?
Due to the substantially increasing home care market, there is more demand for in home carers than the training organisations can provide. If a service organisation cannot provide a carer, it is important to know whether services will be outsourced to another provider with a cost incurred to the service provider or whether your appointment is simply cancelled or rescheduled.
5. Will I be provided with a contact person to address my care needs?
Having a name and a phone number to call when you need to speak to someone about care is important. The last thing you want is a generic contact number to a call centre where you a number on a screen instead of a person who needs help.
A Few Other Pointers For Those Who Are Going It Alone:
- Check the care providers website and read their testimonials.
- Find out how long they’ve been operating in business.
- Do they have commercial premises or do they work from home on a mobile phone?
- What geographical areas do they cover?
- Do they offer registered nursing care and end of life care?
- Do they have qualified carers?
- Can they assist with complex care needs?
- Can they provide care from hourly through to 24 hours a day, 7 days a week?
- Do they employ their carers or do they use contractors?
- Do they answer their phone professionally and call back when they say they will?
- Have you heard good reports about the provider from other people?
Finding a suitable Home Care Provider can be daunting and frustrating. It presents fear, uncertainty and doubt for those who are searching for it. The pressure of finding the perfect service provider for such an intimate, professional and quality service for your loved one can be overwhelming and stressful particularly if there is a sense of urgency to find care.
These few questions will help weed out the services that don’t meet your needs. DR Care Solutions is here to help guide you through this difficult maze. A key part of the service offering is pre-selecting a panel of quality service providers for you to meet to explore their match to your loved ones needs.
For more information on how we can help, contact Danielle Robertson, DR Care Solutions.