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Navigating home health care can be very stressful.  We get calls from people inquiring about care, community assistance options, or even just guidance. Each individual is treated with respect and dignity.  South Florida currently has plenty of options and finding the right one can be exhausting, confusing, and extremely frustrating.  It doesn’t have to be.  How do you know which is the best one for you, and/or your family dynamics?

Navigating through home health care, and understanding what sets one apart from another is important. It is also very overwhelming for all involved. Families usually delegate one individual to do the research and brief the rest of the family. If that is your family’s plan, let the company that you are speaking with know you are calling for information to give to the rest of the family. Why? It helps the company representative to better understand family dynamics.  The company may offer to set up a group call, send an email with information regarding care, or an in-person meeting with decision makers for the patient needing care.

Information to Have On Hand When Calling:

When you call to inquire about services, there are certain pieces of information that the company needs. In order to give you an honest, fair, and realistic quote for how much services will be, here is a brief list of basic information to have on hand.

  • Name and DOB of client needing services. Name/number/relation of the individual calling.
  • What level of care is needed? What do you need the caregiver to assist with?
  • Does anyone in the house smoke? If so, inside or outside?
  • Where is the care going to be provided? Do they still live in their House? Assisted living? Independent living, rehab, hospital?
  • Are there any other individuals in the home, such as a spouse, or adult children? Do any other individuals stop by often?
  • Does anyone in the home have a pet? If yes, what kind and approx. weight of a dog. Is pet care needed?

Questions to ask: 

To assist in navigating, here are questions that should be asked when the time has come to look into home health assistance.

  1. What services do they provide?
  2. How long have they been in business?
  3. Is it a franchise, national chain, or is it family owned and operated?
  4. Do they have a Social Worker or Certified Senior Advisor (CSA) http://www.csa.us  on staff that can assist in the more detailed questions, and other needs that may need addressing?
  5. If you have Long Term Care insurance, do they accept it, will they submit all documentation for you? Do they accept other insurance?
  6. Are they open 24/7?  Do they use an answering service after hours, or are staff on call?

Share your needs, and ascertain if the individual taking your call really listened to you what you had to say. There should be questions asked as well by the company’s representative. If it is a one-sided conversation then that is a red flag. Keep a notebook and take notes on each place you call. Write the specific questions down for each company that you speak to. Write down the name of the person you spoke with, as a result, you will maintain consistency and not have to keep explaining your needs to different individuals.


Be Honest:

Be straightforward about what services are needed. If the care needed is out of their scope of  services, then the company will let you know and should give you a recommendation of someone else that could help. Sending a caregiver to work with a client, and not knowing they have a dog, or having a wife that smokes can be an issue for one caregiver, but not another. Try and keep the caregiver for a couple of days and see if it was a simple first-day anxiousness.

It is difficult for those that are not receptive to care, understand that it is for their safety, ability to stay in their home, and not have to rely on aging friends or neighbors. Individuals want to help, and say call them if you need something, but they have responsibilities as well. They may not always be available when there is a dr. appointment, or groceries are needed.

Don’t hesitate to ask what is really on your mind. When you do set up care, make sure that you communicate any feedback to the office. We do a very good job of matching caregivers with clients. When a change is needed to be made,  it can be the client or the aide. For either one, we at Paradise do ask what the issues were. What didn’t you like? What could she/he of done differently? That will better equip the company with a replacement for that individual.

Our main goal is to provide the best care to our clients receiving care, and their families.  To provide the best care, details of what is needed are very important.  If there is a question, or issue, the client and family should feel comfortable reaching out to the company they are working with. Paradise Home Health Care is always here to answer any questions that families may have, and deliver the best care possible.