Senior Helpers knows it can take some trial and error to find the right caregivers to help a senior age in place. We field calls all the time about families not happy with their current care provider. If you decide to change home care companies, follow these steps to ensure a smooth transition and a better home care experience.
Beginning Home Care Services
In-home care is an increasingly popular elder care option that offers seniors the most freedom and independence. This model of long-term care will play a key role in the coming years as more families strive to help their aging loved ones continue living in their own homes instead of moving into senior living facilities.
It is important to find the right home care company and select individual caregivers who are compatible with a senior. Once you’ve chosen a reputable agency and interviewed prospective caregivers, it can take a few visits for everyone to get comfortable with the new routines and relationships.
If this warming up period passes and you still feel that an assigned caregiver is not the best match for you and your family, contact the home care company to request a new caregiver be assigned. Keep in mind that it can take some trial and error to find a compassionate and experienced companion or home health aide who is well-suited for a senior. However, if you are having larger issues with the company as a whole, such as tardy or no-show caregivers, scheduling problems, subpar care, or excessive caregiver turnover, it may be wise to consider changing care providers altogether.
Finding a New Home Care Company
When searching for a new home care agency, it helps to review the basics of what a home care company should offer and what reasonable expectations you should have as a client. Understanding all of the specific qualities, policies and requirements that constitute a high-quality home care company will ensure a better selection this time around. Before contacting other providers for information, identify what exactly is missing from the current services you are receiving. For example, do you need a more experienced caregiver who is trained to handle a specific health condition, such as dementia? Are you looking for more consistent communication and attentive care coordination? If possible, ask your loved one what they feel their current care plan is lacking and what changes would make them more comfortable.
Once you have identified these missing elements or points of dissatisfaction, be sure to keep them in mind when conducting your research. Use the printable checklist below during interviews to vet any new providers you are considering and ensure they meet all your standards.
Changing Care Providers
Achieving smooth care transitions is a crucial part of modifying a senior’s day-to-day care plan. Below are some recommended steps for seamlessly changing home care providers.
- Make sure you understand your contract or agreement with your current home care company if you haven not already terminated services.
- Familiarize yourself with the agency’s policies and procedures for terminating services (e.g., how much advance notice is required, fees that may apply).
- Give adequate notice to your current provider that you will no longer require their services.
- If you have not already lined up a new home care provider, be sure to secure an alternative source of assistance and/or supervision for your loved one before ending your relationship with your current company.
Starting Services With a New In-Home Care Agency
Families should not feel pressured or uncomfortable when switching providers if it is in the best interest of their loved ones. Initial and ongoing discussions about goals of care, requirements and preferences with the new company are very important. This will ensure both professional caregivers and administrative staff are willing and able to meet your family’s expectations. A commitment to honest and open dialogue about care decisions and satisfaction levels fosters mutual understanding and a collaborative relationship between clients, home care companies and their professional caregivers.