We know that you want to find the most reputable home health care agencies in Dallas, TX. The search can feel overwhelming, especially if you’re trying to find assistance quickly after a loved one’s unexpected illness or hospitalization. This guide to choosing a home health care agency you can trust will help you weed out sketchy companies quickly and create a customized list of interview questions you should be asking.
You should not have to compromise on the care you want your loved one to receive, so we urge you to stay focused on the goal of finding an agency that checks all the items that make your personal list.
Determine your loved one’s required level of care.
This first step will probably require a discussion with your loved one’s physician or surgeon. Unless you are already familiar with their daily needs, it will be helpful to have information about what to expect. Because your loved one’s needs will likely evolve as time goes on, it might be beneficial to think of these parameters as flexible and subject to change at any point.
Commonly, patients need help with things like medication, moving around the home, household chores, errands, and physical therapy routines. While your loved one has the right to any type of assistance they require, be sure to detail these needs to the agency you’re interviewing to ensure that they’re a good fit for you.
Make sure the home health agency meets those needs
Once you have created a list of the types of tasks with which you and your loved one require assistance, check it against the services a home health care agency offers. Ideally one agency would be able to assist you in all of these areas, so it’s worth making several calls or visiting multiple facilities until you find your ideal service provider.
What types of insurance does the agency accept?
While there’s no wrong answer here, it’s vital that the agency you choose accepts the insurance you are planning to use. Otherwise, you’ll be required to pay for these services out of pocket. Unless that is part of your family’s plan, this can place undue financial strain on even well-prepared families. The agency you’re interviewing should be forthright about insurance; any amount of confusion or hesitation to answer could be red flags, so make a note and proceed with caution, if at all, should you encounter this behavior.
What is the cost?
Any home health care agency should be straightforward with you about the cost of care. Furthermore, they should be able to provide the expected cost in writing. If they won’t or can’t do so, move on.
What is their assessment process like?
The assessment that should accompany the establishing of a new patient is best performed by an RN or MD. If the agency you’re considering expects less trained individuals to do these assessments, it’s in your best interest to decline and find an agency that works closely with a capable RN or MD, or ideally, an agency that directly employs either of these health care professionals.
Do they offer ongoing assessments?
While the initial assessment is hugely important, it’s likely that your loved one will require assessment at various times in the future. Will the agency be able to handle these assessments, or will you be required to make outside appointments to obtain them?
Which type of home care professional will be coming to the home?
Your loved one’s physician or surgeon will be able to tell you which type of professional home health care worker you will want to hire. It’s important to remember to check with any agency you interview to make sure that they will be able to match you with a caregiver who is fully qualified to help your loved one. The best home care companies will only provide CNA’s (Certified Nurse Aides), licensed RN’s (Registered Nurses) or LVN’s (Licensed Vocational Nurses). Even if your loved one only requires non-medical home care, a better prepared and qualified care provider is always ideal.
What type of training will they have?
Home health care agencies can vary widely on the level of training they require their employees to have. Does the type of training their employees have match up with your loved one’s needs? Do you require a nurse, or merely a trained home aid worker? Again, there’s no wrong answer, but the agency you choose needs to meet your individual needs.
Will the agency arrange a meet-and-greet between the caregiver and your loved one?
For many people, it can be quite jarring to meet a new caregiver on the first day they’re going to be performing their duties. Instead, ask if the agency can arrange a meet-and-greet ahead of time to give your loved one time to form an opinion about their potential caregiver. Ideally, the patient will be comfortable with the caregiver; this will make the situation better for all parties involved.
Does the agency match the personalities of the caregiver and your loved one?
Some of the more experienced and compassionate agencies will carefully select a caregiver to match your loved one’s personality. This is a very helpful approach, so it’s worth making a special note of an agency who does include this service.
Is the agency based in your local community?
If the agency you’re interviewing is locally-based rather than being one branch of a large, corporate chain, they’re more likely to be connected to your community and have a personal interest in meeting the needs of the members of their town. While only you and your family can decide if this is an important point for you, take the time to discuss and consider it if you can.
Will the agency allow you to request a change of staff?
In the unfortunate event that your loved one is incompatible with the caregiver or caregivers the agency provides, are you permitted to request a change of staff? The relative flexibility or inflexibility on this point might be able to provide you with insight into how much weight will be given to you and your loved one’s subjective, personal experience. You will probably undergo a lot of emotional shifts in the coming weeks and months, and it will be helpful to be working with an agency who validates your experience and strives to create a peaceful home environment in which your loved one can recuperate or convalesce.