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Everything You Never Knew to Ask About Home Care

Finding the right home care provider for a family member can be a daunting task. If you are not familiar with industry lingo, you just aren’t sure if you are comparing apples to apples or if your research is creating fruit salad!!

What questions do I ask? What’s the difference between certified vs. accredited vs. licensed. And how do I know if I am receiving accurate information or an evasive redirect?

Be sure to do your own investigation, talk to your physician, and to the doctor’s office practice manager; in most cases, the practice manager will have significant experience dealing with home care agencies and may know what local provider will best suit the needs of your loved one. The hospital’s discharge planning team, private geriatric care managers, local elder care attorneys, your health insurance provider, and your county’s Area Agency on Aging are good resources as well. (County AAA resource offices can be found in the yellow pages or on the web).

It will be helpful to draw up an agency comparison spreadsheet, an easy task for those with Excel computer skills. If excel eludes you … a piece of paper and a ruler will do.

Know what services the company provides

Know what you will be paying for

If you are contracting privately for Personal Care Assistance by a Home Health Aide or Companion Aide, be sure to ask if the company is a structured as an Agency or a Registry.

Know the agency’s mission

Know whom to contact in case of an emergency.

The only foolish question is the one unasked. And remember the choice of provider is always YOURS!


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Boomers Resource Guide is a special supplement to the Senior Citizen's Guide