In a recent blog, we explored several signs that alert you to the need for help from a home health agency. When faced with the reality that assistance has become necessary when it comes to caring for a loved one, there are several important items to consider. The following questions are a good start.
- What services does the agency offer?
This can vary widely from light assistance, for a few hours a week, to full-time specialized nursing care. Clients’ needs vary widely, it’s important to ensure that the needs fit with the services offered by the agency in question. AccuCare Home Health of St. Louis offers customized plans to meet the needs of each individual client, because every client is a unique individual.
- What qualifications/licensures does the agency hold?
For a loved one’s safety, and for peace of mind, only work with a qualified home health agency. State licensure is a bare minimum. Also inquire about training and certifications, and that the company is insured and bonded. AccuCare Home Health of St. Louis is a member of the Missouri Association of Home Care, the Better Business Bureau, and is an Emergency Medical Response Agency.
- Whom does the agency hire?
It is a well-known fact that caregivers face a great deal of stress at work and that pay is low compared with other professions. This leads to a high turnover rate in the industry. The people who provide one-on-one care must be chosen with great care. Thorough background checks are essential, as are basic certifications such as CPR. Don’t be afraid to ask about hiring practices and staff turnover. AccuCare Home Health of St. Louis is proud to say that we hold our carefully-screened caregivers to a high standard, they’ve been a part of our team for a long time and we greatly value each and every one of them.
- How are caregivers supervised and supported?
No matter how careful the screening process, caregivers need the support of management to provide the highest level of care. Our clients enjoy the support of a 24-hour Registered Nurse, as well as visits from a Nursing Supervisor to assure quality care. As a small, independent organization, our staff is empowered to make decisions as needed to best serve those in our care.
- How does the agency communicate with clients and families?
Questions or concerns should be regular and open, with easy access to those caring for a loved one. It is unacceptable to get the run around. We are always at the ready to speak with and share information with families and our caregivers to ensure that we are providing the best care possible.
6. Does the model of service meet our needs?
Many private pay home health care companies in the St Louis area call themselves “non-medical” and do not have an RN or Nursing Supervisor on staff. This can result in problems as the client’s health declines with no one overseeing the client’s healthcare needs. Not only can AccuCare Home Health Care of St. Louis meet daily needs, but we also can address health issues. We offer customized plans to meet the needs of each individual client, because every client is a unique individual.
7. Can services change as our needs change?
It is vital to assess not only what your needs are now, but also whether the agency in question can offer continuity of care as needs change. AccuCare Home Health Care of St. Louis provides a wide range of services, and is committed to serving you as needs change, always keeping in mind what is best for your loved one.
8. What are the costs and how are they billed?
The world of healthcare can be confusing, with many different levels of care and payment options. Private, in-home care is a long-term commitment for those in need of consistent, daily care. The majority of private in-home health care is private pay or covered by a long-term care policy. AccuCare Home Health Care can help determine if your insurer covers the services you need. We can help you file claims or provide any necessary documentation required by your insurance company.
9. What happens if/when there is a problem?
It’s important to consider the “what ifs” and how those in charge of your loved one’s care will handle them, from health crises to staffing issues. AccuCare Home Health Care of St. Louis has a Registered Nurse on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Inquiries regarding care are answered quickly by our owner or Director of Nursing. We guarantee our 24-hour care, and you can rest assured that our caregivers will be there when promised.
10. What do others say about this agency?
Fortunately, there are many resources that point to a company’s dependability, integrity and quality of care. AccuCare Home Health Care of St. Louis has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and received the 2017 BBB Torch Award for Exceptional Ethics and Service. We are a member of the Missouri Alliance for Home Care, and we are an Emergency Medical Response Agency. We are honored to have received a Future 50 Award. Our staff have received the 2016 Caregiver of the Year by MAHC; Lifetime Achievement and Caregiver of the Year sponsored by the VOYCE (an ombudsman program for seniors). Our clients are also happy to share their experiences.
These 10 questions are just the beginning. Hiring a home health care agency to provide the best care for your loved one is an incredibly important decision. We hope that you have many more questions, and that you will contact us so that we can answer each and every question for you. Call us for a free consultation and let us show you how AccuCare Home Health Care of St. Louis can meet your family’s needs.