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The Most Important Questions to Ask Home Care Agencies
A Servant’s Heart Care Solutions was cited as a home care authority in a 9/10/13 article in the San Diego Union Tribune UTSanDiego.com. The article highlights the advice listed on our website at www.TrustworthyCare.com about “The Most Important Questions To Ask Home Care Companies“. The article is reproduced below.
Licensing requirements and government standards for the home health care industry aim to protect seniors from unqualified caregivers. Non-medical home care, however, remains completely unregulated in the state of California, which means it’s even more important to ask potential home care agencies all the right questions, according to Timothy J. Colling, vice president of A Servant’s Heart Care Solutions.
“You could have high standards and do background checks or you could have no standards,” he said. “It’s really important for consumers to ask really good questions when they are considering which home care company to select for the care of their loved one.”
1. Are the caregivers employed by the home services agency? It’s not always safe to assume a caregiver works for the company that sends them. Some agencies operate as brokers, meaning they can’t be held responsible for the actions of their independent contractor caregivers.
2. Does the agency do background checks? Background checks can help to weed out dangerous or unqualified caregivers, but agencies aren’t required to do them for home care caregivers. Colling said how the agency does the checks is also important; he recommends running applicants’ fingerprints through the Department of Justice database.
3. What languages do the caregivers speak? The caregiver will need to be able to speak, read and write fluently in the language of the patient or client. Check with the agency to see if they can accommodate specific requests.
4. Is there a written service agreement? Review the written service agreement carefully before signing it. Make sure the agreement outlines what is expected of the caregiver and gives information on cancellation policies.
5. Does the agency test caregivers for diseases such as TB? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends regular TB screenings for health care workers.
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