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Ten Things to Know When Choosing a Home Care Provider

Ten Things to Know When Choosing a Home Care Provider

The San Francisco Bay Area is home to throngs of home care agencies. No company is “one size fits all”, and it can be overwhelming to take on the task of choosing which agency is best for your loved one. Here are 10 things to keep in mind when considering home care services: 

  1. When considering any home care agency, always ask how long the provider has been serving the community. 
  2. Ask the home care agency if they can provide any literature that explains their services, how they choose their staff, their applicable licenses, and how services are paid.
  3. Ask your prospective home care provider how they select and train their caregivers, what policies are in place to ensure compliance and maintain quality of care, and how they address any challenges when they arise. 
  4. For home care agencies providing supervisors to oversee the quality of care provided, it is important to ask how often supervisory visits are conducted, who the primary point of contact would be should there be a complaint or concern, and how the agency follows up and resolves any problems that may arise. 
  5. Caregivers’ tasks are defined by the plan of care. Ask the home care agency how they develop their care plans, and if they encourage or allow family members to participate in its development. 
  6. Documentation is a critical element to continuity of care. It can help address minor issues before they progress into something less manageable. Hospitalizations and re-admissions for those recovering from surgery can often be avoided with proper documentation and communication. Ask the home care agency how caregivers document their visits, from time keeping, to tasks and events taking place on shift.
  7. Home care is a privately funded industry. Be sure to inquire as to the frequency by which the agency processes invoices, and the details included in the invoice. If you plan to pay for in-home care with Long Term Care insurance, it is also important to know if the home care agency assists with opening and/or managing claims, carries out the billing submissions to insurance, and if they participate in direct pay programs with the Long Term Care Insurance carrier. 
  8. Every client should recognize the possibility they may experience an event out of the ordinary service routine. This can be attributed to your primary caregiver missing work due to illness, or your loved one needing to go to the hospital. Because of these contingencies, it is best to know on the front end what the home care agency’s practices are for emergencies, communication, and the phone number and hours during which the appropriate contact can be reached. 
  9. Going hand in hand with the possibility your primary caregiver may not be available for any reason, what is the home care agency’s policy on providing appropriate coverage? Do they have a process in place to provide a competent replacement? A strong caregiver pool is the key to successful restaffing, and a tremendous relief to families who may feel compelled to step in and cover. 
  10. Among the many home care agencies in the San Francisco Bay Area, there are also different agency types. It is important to know if the agency you are considering is a licensed home care agency, a home health agency, or a direct referral agency.
    A licensed home care agency is licensed to provide caregiver support and case management to those needing non-invasive care. A home health agency is licensed to provide clinical care, such as injections, IVs, or wound care. A direct referral agency is an agency that will provide caregivers from a registry. Knowing whether your home care agency directly hires care staff or acts as a registry can help you narrow down what is best for your specific needs.

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Testimonials

I was extremely pleased with the in-home care I received from your employee, Zanaida Beltran. Zenaida is a highly competent caregiver who is very instrumental in fulfilling my needs after I suffered a fractured pelvis. At all times she was prompt in arriving, knew how to perform her duties intelligently and did all with a most pleasant manner. Zenaida anticipated what was necessary and went beyond normal circumstances making my surrounding appropriately safe and clean. She also made sure that I followed the instructions of my doctors and physiotherapist. Upon accompanying me to appointments, she assisted with all transfers from car or cab. I felt confidant-having Zenaida with me. I am positive that Zenaida’s help during the first days of my confinement has been instrumental in my eventually achieving a full recovery from my accident. Thank you for sending such a valuable caregiver.

Margaret S
Margaret S

I wanted to put in writing what a lifesaver Care for Seniors was for us. My husband and I found ourselves in the unexpected situation for both being in the hospital at the same time. Len was going to be released before me but still needed a caregiver when he arrived home. I was not going to be home for a few days but I was also going to need help recovering from my chemotherapy treatment. It was 3:00pm in the afternoon when the agency was contacted and amazingly they were able to get us a live in caregiver by 6:00pm that same day. I shudder when I think back on that day and how vulnerable and helpless I felt. Thanks to you, Alla and Care for Seniors staff, our needs were met with compassion and understanding. Thank you so much! It’s comforting to know that we seniors have a safe and reliable place to turn for help.

Suzanne E
Suzanne E

I am so grateful for all your services. My mother was cared for with compassion, attention, dignity, and integrity. A special commendation is deserved by Maria Regina Garcia. Gina went way above her responsibilities in caring for my mother. My mother grew to love her. I frequently observed Gina holding my mother’s hand and stroking her hair. In the hours immediately prior to my mother’s death on July 19th 2009, Gina sat with her through the night ensuring that at every stage in the process, my mother would be comfortable. My cousin who shared some time with her that evening told me that Gina was caring and tearful, two attributes for which Gina is to be treasured. Living so far from my mother, it was always my intent that she not die alone or in pain. To some extent, my cousins in the Bay Area assisted with that. However, Gina ensured that my mother’s last few months would be shared with an attentive, compassionate, and caring individual. Within minutes of my mother’s death, Gina called me here in Georgia to notify me. Gina stayed with my mother until my mother was transported from Rhoda Goldman Plaza. I will always remember the service of your caregivers, but particularly Gina. You should consider her a treasured asset.

Gary G., M.D
Gary G., M.D

Thank you so much for your help and support during Joe’s ordeal. You couldn’t have helped more, and your energetic and cheerful presence was an added comfort. I am recommending Care for Seniors to SF Village very highly. I hope we cross paths again in happier times.

Andy H
Andy H

I wanted to express my appreciation for the excellent service you provided in helping my mother during the past two years. You and your office staff were always available and wonderfully responsive to last minute changes and emergencies as they arose. Your Caregivers were sensitive and competent, especially considering my mother’s many special requirements. She was very pleased with their effort, ability and affection. I can strongly recommend Care for Seniors as a reliable, competent and effective service in caring for the elderly. Best wishes to you and all your Staff.

Henry T
Henry T

I want to thank you and all your staff for your care for Bob and being so responsive and helpful. I would gladly recommend Care for Seniors to any families who want kind and caring support for their loved ones.

Sue Ann S
Sue Ann S

I wanted to express my appreciation for the excellent service  you provided in helping my mother..

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Henry T
Henry T

I want to thank you and all your staff for your care for Bob and being so responsive and helpful..

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Sue Ann S
Sue Ann S

I wanted to put in writing what a lifesaver Care for Seniors was for us. My husband and I found ourselves..

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Suzanne E
Suzanne E
Ten Things to Know When Choosing a Home Care Provider