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CaringForASenior.com is committed to making in-home care accessible to all care seekers. We do this by providing informative articles and resources that can help you understand the options available to you in a time of need. And once you're ready to seek care assistance, we offer a directory of nearby care providers.

Seeking Out Senior Care

A Senior receives at-home assistance

As the average age in America continues to rise in in home senior care has seen a recent explosion. Many care providers continue to pop up to meet the pending demand in the coming years. With so many to choose from, though, which one should you or your loved one pick?

An especially important point to consider is that, with demand ever increasing, the number of professionals without proper qualifications continues to rise as well. Picking out the right care provider can be difficult, but as long as you do your research, you should be able to find the right fit for your in home senior care needs.

Here is a list of questions to ask when looking for a care provider:

Does this care provider use a screening process when hiring?
When seeking in home senior care, it is important to remember that these caregivers will be in your home on a regular basis. Therefore, it is important to be informed about what kind of screening your prospective care provider uses when hiring employees. Care providers that use screenings such as background and drug tests ensure that their employees have a clean personal record before they are hired.

Another important question to ask when researching care providers is whether they actually contact the references listed on the resumes of potential employees. If they do, these care providers have received confirmation about the character of their employees from professional contacts – aside from their own interview process, this is another way to check for a great work ethic and professional attitude.

How long has the care provider been in business?
Chances are if you deal with a provider that has been around for a long period of time, their quality of service is high. Reputation goes a long way, and especially in a field like in home senior care, where sensitivity and professionalism is a must, outfits that fail to continually deliver quality service will likely be new or go out of business rather quickly.

Does the care provider offer training for its employees?
While their employees should come in with a certain amount of expertise, does the care provider offer additional training to ensure that each employee is prepared for every situation he or she may encounter while working in in home senior care?  Each patient is bound to have a different set of expectations and needs and it is essential that care providers are prepared to meet each new set of demands with ease.

What type of training or certification do workers need prior to being hired?
Agencies that only hire employees with specialized training or certifications offer a stamp of approval for its work force. A certification of training means that a board or institute stands behind the competency of that particular person, and with in home senior care, these certifications guarantee a certain level of expertise in the field.

Is the care provider accredited?
This is another way that care providers can prove that they are competent in their field. Accredited care providers have the approval of a higher board, which bolsters their reputation in the area of in home senior care. However, being accredited can often be expensive, so some choose not to pay the cost. Don't consider this a deal-breaker unless you see other red flags.

Will the care provider send another caregiver if yours cannot show?
As with any profession, your assigned caregiver may run into scheduling conflicts down the line. In the event that this happens, will the agency send out other caregivers in his or her place? Can you choose these alternates?

Ask for a list of references from the care provider.
Ask the home care provider for a list of references that stand by their work, then call them. This may include past and present clients, doctors or anyone else acquainted with their line of work and reputation. Call these references to be sure that they stand by the care provider.

Do they have a 24-hour contact in case of emergency?
It is important to always have an emergency contact from the care provider. This is to make sure that you can gain immediate help in the event that you ever need it.

Are the care provider and its employees insured?
Is the provider insured if they mishandle medical care? In other words, do they financially stand behind the quality of work that they provide?

Searching for the right in home care provider can initially be difficult, but if you make sure to keep these questions in mind, you will be able to find reputable care that will be sure to offer the professionalism and expertise needed to provide excellent senior in home care.

Do you have any other questions that helped you find the right care provider? Did these questions help you find a skilled caregiver? If so, let us know! Please be sure to leave a comment below.