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Austin Home Health Care: How to Choose the Right Home Care Company for You.

More and more people are choosing to remain at home rather than moving to a retirement center. Many of these individuals and their families have selected home care out of a desire for a higher quality of life and independence. The hired caregivers care can provide a range of assistance with activities such as bathing, dressing, grooming, assisting with walking or transferring, toileting, feeding, and providing medication reminders. In addition they can assist with instrumental household activities such as shopping, meal preparation, transportation, laundry, and companionship. You may have heard of this type of in-home care referred to as: non-medical care or private duty home care.

Most of this home care is paid for out-of-pocket directly by the patient, family, conservators, and by long-term care insurance or combinations of them all. Faced with this, and a sometimes a confusing number of choices, families are turning to the cheapest price for care without understanding the implications of their choice, especially in hiring workers who are not employed by an agency or that have been hired through companies that place workers who they do not employ.

Whether you go through an agency or choose to hire someone privately there are questions you should ask before signing a contract with them.

• How are caregivers selected?
• Are your caregivers bonded, insured, and covered by Workers Compensation?
• Do you do background checks on prospective employees?
• Are you willing to give us a copy of your insurance binder?
• Do you deduct state, federal, and local taxes from the caregivers’ checks?
• Is there a “Contract for Services” and if so, what is the cancellation policy?
• What kind of caregiver consistency can we expect?
• What is the minimum number of hours of service that you provide?
• Do you charge extra if we need night or weekend care?
• Are the caregivers supervised by an administrative staff person?
• How are calls after business hours and on weekends handled?
• What kind of assessment for care can we expect from your agency?
• Is there a charge for the assessment?
• How often are patient care needs reassessed?
• Is this a franchise or privately owned company?
• How long has the company been in business?
• Do you have references from previous clients?

You should make sure to interview several different companies that offer private duty nursing or home care aides and then compare the answers that you get for your questions. It is important not only to get the answers that you were looking for, but to also feel comfortable with the people who will be taking care of your loved one. Remember, you are a consumer; you have to right to make sure that you are getting the services that you are paying for.

About the Author: Bekie Cohner is a nurse and writer who has 10 years of experience working in the Austin Health Care field in the geriatric population.

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