Free Guide for Choosing In-home Care

How to Choose Care

With a little thought and preparation, any family can start an open, honest dialog that can lead to a plan that everyone agrees to and understands. 

This FREE Caring Hearts® guide offers a specific process for your family to follow to encourage transparency with your loved ones, gain an understanding of in-home care options, and how to move forward together.

Free Guide for Choosing In-home Care

What is in-home care?

In-home care is an option that offers various services and benefits to allow your loved one the opportunity to receive the care they need while being able to stay in the comfort of wherever they call home.  Research shows it can expedite healing and improve and extend quality of life.  It is also more financially viable than other care options, while preserving your loved one’s sense of independence. 

Caring Hearts® offers in-home care services for companion care, personal care, medical care, Alzheimer’s and dementia care, homemaker services, respite care, recuperative care, care for new and expecting mothers, and more.  We provide personalized services to make life easier.

Because every family situation is different, Caring Hearts® has no minimum hourly requirements to receive care.  Families often decide to use homemaker or companion services – even if just a few hours a week.  Whether you need three hours or 24/7 care, we’re here to provide exceptional in-home care services to provide support for your family.

What is hospice care?

Hospice involves quality and compassionate care providing pain and symptom management for the client, as well as emotional and spiritual support for families.  This end-of-life care allows clients to be free of pain and families the privacy to stay at home with their loved one.

What is skilled home care?

Skilled Home Care agencies offer comprehensive medical services such as nursing and therapy options while being able to stay at home.

Starting the Conversation

1. Plan Ahead

As elders age, family members are frequently involved in providing support and assistance.  This can provoke a wide variety of emotions including the feeling of being overwhelmed. 

Chances are your family has either recognized a change and you’re researching the options for your loved one to receive in-home care in the upcoming future or something impactful has effected your family and you need assistance now.  Either way, you’re most likely the family member who has taken the leading role.  It will be important for you to think about and discuss the roles that other family members will take on.  Some may be able to supply financial support, but not hands-on support due to distance, family commitments or other issues.  Some may be available to give you a break when needed.

No matter what the roles are, it is important to have an agreement of what is expected of each family member to ensure your loved one’s best interests are being met.  Make sure to have a discussion with your loved one to know what their concerns truly are and include them during the decision-making process.  Those with memory loss deserve the respect to be involved but may need more time to process change.

Those who would benefit from in-home care services often wait to arrange for services after an incident occurs.  Be aware and proactive to set services in place to prevent unnecessary family incidents.

2. Family Discussion

It is highly important for the family to know and understand the wishes of the loved one who will receive in-home care.  We recommend having a discussion with family members who will be taking an active role in the care process. 

Have this family discussion in a calm setting where your loved one is most comfortable and during a time of day where they are most alert.  Keep the conversation positive, ask specific questions, and never make them feel forced into a decision or sense that you are taking away their independence.  Listen to understand their wishes and do your best to fully ensure that their needs are met. 

One main aspect of in-home care is the ability to allow family members to keep their respective roles.  If you are the daughter of aging parents who has been juggling her time between caring for her parents and family, your role as the adult daughter has changed.  You are most likely feeling more like a parent and your parents have become more like your children.  Caring Hearts® acts to become an extension of your family allowing your roles to remain the same. 

During your discussions, you may feel the need to speak with a financial planner or attorney.  These meetings are very common and are great steps to take to ensure that all matters are taken care of with your loved one.  Continue to work together with your family, stay positive, and share what you’re feeling.

3. Learn

Familiarize yourself with available in-home care agencies.  Call them to ask questions that are important to your family and compare.  Here are questions we recommend asking each in-home care agency you speak with:

  1. Is your business licensed by the state?
  2. Are all of your licenses up to date?
  3. Are your caregivers properly trained? What is the normal duration of training and what is taught?
  4. What certifications are required for caregivers to have?
  5. Are your caregivers insured?
  6. Can I get references from or speak with local patients, hospitals or social workers?
  7. Are there client reviews of your business available?

4. Act

Once you have a better understanding of your loved ones’ needs and which in-home care agencies impressed you, set up in-home consultations to further interview them and become better acquainted.

Once choices have been narrowed down, questions can be asked.

  1. What are the costs associated with your in-home care?
  2. Is there a contract or is service on a month-to-month basis?
  3. Are there managers that oversee the quality my loved one will receive?
  4. Is there someone to report to if I see a problem in the care provided?
  5. What is the protocol for emergencies?
  6. Are there medical professionals helping to create a care plan?
  7. Is there 24/7 care available?
  8. How is patient confidentiality handled?
  9. How is care documented? Is there a way for family members to monitor care? Are monthly reports or meetings offered?
  10. How is billing handled? Is it done on a weekly or monthly basis?
  11. How long does the onboarding process usually take?