December 18, 2018

6 Questions to Ask Before Hiring A Private Care Agency

Living Your Best Life
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When someone you love – a parent, spouse, adult child – needs home care support or a private nurse, you want to make sure you get the best. Not just someone who is technically skilled, but a caring, compassionate professional who will fit in seamlessly with the household. Someone who will anticipate needs and know what needs to be done to ensure an active lifestyle.

But how can you tell one agency from the next? If you are seeking high-end private care, how do you discern concierge-level care?

Many agencies will claim they are high-end. But before you select your private care agency, ask these 6 questions to make sure your highest expectations will be met.

  1. Are caregivers employed directly by the company?
    A concierge-level agency has a stable, reliable, proven staff at the ready, and will directly employ private nurses and caregivers. The agency will take care of tracking hours for each caregiver in the home, thereby alleviating the client of having to track time and write multiple checks. The agency pays the staff directly, manages proper withholding, and holds liability insurance should the caregiver be injured on your property.
  2. Is Care Management provided by a Registered Nurse?
    Like a quarterback, one person needs to coordinate all of a client’s care and day-to-day issues. This prevents confusion and any care lapses. The person best equipped to do this is a Registered Nurse (RN). A registered nurse will understand healthcare and medical issues, as well as household needs. The RN will also instruct caregivers on current as well as potentially emergent situations.It’s not just a matter of who, it’s also about how much. You also want to inquire about how frequently the care manager visits the home for an in-person, hands-on assessment of needs.
  3. How do you recruit staff?
    Can you ensure that you will provide a replacement in the event of a caregiver’s illness or emergency, or in the event of inclement weather?Careful vetting of caregivers is crucial. With high-end care, you should expect more than someone filling out an online form and a 10-minute Skype interview. High-level means in-person, in-depth, and extensive background checking. It means interviews that probe technical, interpersonal and social skills, and thorough reference checking.Few things are more unsettling than to have a caregiver not show up on an expected day. Plans get thrown out the window, and much needed care is neglected. With concierge private care you always (and we do mean always) have a skilled and informed caregiver. Someone who knows your situation, needs, and expectations.
  4. How long has the agency been in business?
    It’s not just about quantity of years, it’s also about exceptional quality, starting with the agency owners. Ask about the owners and their professional backgrounds. Inquire about whether the agency is privately held or a franchise. A privately-held agency is more nimble and better able to tailor care. It will specialize in out-of-the-box solutions, not cookie cutter programs. It will be passionate about its mission and hire only those who share this passion.
  5. What is the scope of responsibility for the caregivers?
    At the concierge-level of care, you should expect a caregiver who is all-encompassing, including healthcare support, domestic tasks, and transportation. The caregiver should be carefully vetted in every area, from nursing assistance to driving a car.
  6. Is a professional assessment offered to assist in developing a customized plan?
    A concierge-level agency will insist upon a professional assessment. It is the critical first step to creating a completely tailored plan. The assessment will determine what services need to be performed and their frequency.

At Privatus, we specialize in high-end care across Boston, Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket, New York City, Long Island and Fairfield, Westchester and Bergen counties. If you want to learn more about concierge-level care, contact us. With years of experience with the most discerning clientele, we have the answers to all your questions.