Always Check Out Home Care Agencies
According to an article in the March 2008 issue of A.A.R.P. Bulletin (Katharine Greider), experts advise taking precautions to hire the right home care agencies and aides. These precautions include the following:Check them out - According to the article some agencies are Medicare-certified. For agencies not Medicare-certified, individuals should check to see if they are licensed which is required in certain states. The article also suggests obtaining referrals from generic care managers or doctors. Finally, one should meet the aid before he or she starts, and talk to other families who have worked with the aid.
Ask questions - Does the agency do background checks on its employees? How does it handle turnover? Are the aides salaried? Do they get benefits? How are they monitored?
Stay in touch - The article goes on to say that family members should make unannounced visits at different times of the day or week. The patient should be asked about the care they have received and observations should be noted.
Complain - Finally, the article says that for problems with a Medicare-certified agency or aid one can call their state=s home health hotline or the Medicare hotline at 1-800-633-4227.
The A.A.R.P suggests an interested party should go to www.medicare.gov and search Ahome health.@ to learn more.