When the need for long term care services begins, very few people want to go to a nursing home to receive care. The vast majority want to transition into this part of life within familiar surroundings, usually their own home.Thankfully, the options for receiving in-home services are constantly expanding these days, and here are a few tips for selecting a quality home care agency to provide the needed care:1. Don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions of each agency to make sure that you feel comfortable with their services. You are interviewing them to make sure that they will be able to fill a very important and sensitive role in your life.2. Find out about their hiring practices. Do they conduct thorough background checks on each caregiver? Are they bonded and insured?3. Find out if they have arrangements made to provide a qualified backup person in case the assigned caregiver is ill or can’t show up for some other reason?4. Find out what licenses and qualifications the caregivers provided by each agency are required to have in advance.5. Understand that when in-home services begin, it may take a couple of weeks or so to get the consistency of care that you desire as the caregivers are getting used to your particular needs and wants. However, if problems and inconsistencies persist, speak to the agency clearly and often to get it resolved. Do not be afraid to change agencies if progress on these issues is not being made.Another important consideration for home care involves separating medical duties from non-medical chores. Of course, most home care providers are able to not only provide assistance with activities of daily living like eating, bathing, dressing, toileting, moving around and so forth, but they also can perform domestic activities too. This can include light cleaning, running errands, shopping, preparing meals, and so on.The important point to consider is that if you are paying a home care provider to do the domestic chores, you may be spending too much. It may be less costly to separate out the non-medical activities and hire someone who can get this kind of work done at a lower cost per hour. Of course, the medical duties should always be carried out by those with appropriate training though, and they earn every penny of the cost for their services.Some long term care insurance polices allow you to use non-skilled persons for domestic work around the home, and others don’t. Having this option can be important in some cases, especially where domestic services will be needed along with custodial care.In any case, there is no substitute for planning ahead and being organized as you see that the need for long term care may be arising within the near future.
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