The advantages of having an agency manage your loved one's care.

When considering care for an aging loved one, many people think about utilizing an unpaid caregiver, which may be themselves or a neighbor who can check in on their loved one regularly. But care needs can grow fast! Here are some reasons you should seriously consider having care provided by a home-health or personal care agency.

Agencies have qualified teams that can evaluate the care your loved one needs from a medical standpoint. They can perform safety assessments of their or your home, and they can ascertain the level of care needed. These qualified teams often include RNs (registered nurses) that provide continual check-ins to make sure your loved one's needs are being met. These qualified caregivers receive ongoing training so they are up-to-date on proper procedures, as well as vaccinations and screenings so that your loved ones are protected from any medical issues. All agencies are required to perform background checks on their hired caregivers as well. All this provides assurance that your loved one is receiving care in the most safe environment possible. Additionally, agencies can guarantee that your loved one isn't left without care because they are staffed well enough to cover when your regular caregiver is off.

Agencies are fantastic at putting a care plan in place. These plans involve the family to make sure everyone is informed and updated on any factors that may change as care needs progress. This is so important. For families that choose to use unpaid family members or a neighbor, one small mistake in care may not be caught and can start the decline of health that may be very difficult to manage. Not to mention, unpaid caregivers are often juggling multiple responsibilities and if they can't provide care one day, that may mean your loved one is without care altogether.

Some Lesser-Known Facts About Using an Agency for In-Home Care:

  • many carry insurance to protect their clients from damages to themselves and property. This means if an accident occurs resulting in damages to your assets, you are protected.

  • many offer a trial period to make sure the fit between the caregiver and your loved one is good.

  • caregivers are often matched specifically based on the care needs of your loved one to ensure proper care is maximized.

Did You Know That Home Health Can Increase Chances of Aging in Place?

  • when your loved one is receiving the right kind of care, by a professional that has the expertise to adjust care quickly if needed, the chances of keeping your loved one at home is greatly increased.

  • if you work with a home-health or personal care agency that has caregivers with expertise in the wide spectrum of care needs across the care continuum, the chances of facing a relocation to a skilled nursing facility is reduced.

  • choosing a home-health or personal care agency that collaborates closely with palliative care and hospice agencies means your loved one may be able to stay at home throughout their lifespan.

Getting Started with a Home-Health Agency:

  • when looking at care for a loved one, it’s always important to be informed. Schedule a meeting with a care agency and know your options.

  • become familiar with your area agencies, the process for starting care, the timeline to start services, and their costs to ensure you have the best in-home care experience.

  • the smoothest transitions to home care are the clients that call their chosen agency several weeks before the day when care is needed.

  • develop a relationship with your chosen care agency and ensure you have a plan in place for when care needs change.

Not sure where to start? Don't have the time to investigate agency options around you? Elder Care Solutions' Silver Navigator solution was designed to save families time! We will do the heavy lifting for you and deliver your top recommendations for home health and personal care based on your location and your loved one's care needs. Visit our solutions page to learn more!

Thank you to Mike Norfield, Director of Visiting Angels of Lynchburg, VA for this INSIGHT!

If you'd like to get in touch with Mike, call 434-439-4698. Visiting Angels of Lynchburg is an award-winning in-home care agency that prides themselves on quality care as well as providing their clients with a wealth of resources to help with all their long-term care challenges.

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