The 12 Most Important Evaluation Points When Considering a Home Care Agency


Because good decisions result from good information, this guide was created to help you evaluate home care agencies and make the best choice the first time. Please take 10 minutes to review the important elements that make up a good home care agency.

IN-HOME ASSESSMENT WITH A SKILLED NURSE AND MASTERS LEVEL SOCIAL WORKER:

It is important that your initial in-home assessment is provided by a registered nurse and social worker – this
insures your medical issues, personal needs and desires are communicated by a professional.

CAREGIVER SCREENING:

When you hire a professional home care agency, you expect to receive quality care provided by a compassionate, empathetic and caring person. The real question; how do you make sure this will occur? Encompass Senior Solutions screens caregivers for experience, skill and personality. To ensure caregivers are reliable and honest, extensive background checks, including statewide police checks, are performed on all new hires and we are insured and bonded. ESS also mandates drug screening upon hire and whenever there is a potential issue.

CAREGIVER EXPERIENCE:

The very best agencies hire only experienced caregivers. To make sure your needs are met, Encompass Senior Solutions recruits caregivers who have experience and are seasoned in attending to the needs of care recipients.

HEALTH, SKILL AND COMPETENCY TESTING:

A good home care agency will test employees to assure their personal health, skills and capability. Standard testing for all Encompass Senior Solutions employees includes competency testing, TB tests, pre-employment skills testing, and random drug testing.

CAREGIVER CODE OF CONDUCT TRAINING:

Insist on an agency that incorporates training that focuses on core values such as attitude, character and respect. Caregiver Code of Conduct™ is a training and certification program developed to enhance caregivers’ skills in areas of social and client interaction. Encompass Senior Solutions is proud to offer this training to their staff.

NO SHOW PLAN:

One of the most common problems that people have with the average home care agency is that the caregivers don’t show up. Choose an agency that has a system to handle the caregivers who cannot fill their shift. We pay bonuses for perfect guarantee all shifts. The state average is 78% of shifts being filled. Encompass Senior Solutions staffs at 100%.

NURSE SUPERVISION AND UNSCHEDULED VISITS:

A good home care agency will provide field nurse supervisors who perform unscheduled supervision visits to help make sure that you are receiving the best care possible. The field nurse supervisor visit is also a good time to communicate any concerns you may find uncomfortable discussing with your caregiver. (If you prefer not to receive unscheduled supervision visits, be sure to tell the agency.)

REGULAR COMMUNICATION:

For peace of mind you need an agency that has a process to keep you informed. Encompass Senior Solutions’ caregivers keep careful notes of each visit in your home to provide a quick snapshot of their activities and are always available for review. Our staff is also trained to alert family members regarding any changes or concerns regarding the client, in addition to responding to clients’ or family members’ concerns.

FLEXIBLE SCHEDULING & OVERTIME POLICY:

Make sure the agency you hire will modify the schedule of your service — without financial penalty. Also ask about their overtime policy. Some agencies charge you time-and-a-half for any aide that is scheduled over 40 hours. Unless you specifically request additional hours from a caregiver that is already scheduled 40 hours for that week, the agency should be responsible for any overtime pay.

FULL RANGE OF SERVICES:

Everyone’s needs are different. Choose a homecare agency that can provide services for all your personal and unique needs. Encompass Senior Solutions provides all levels of service from errands, shopping, light housekeeping to hygiene assistance, medication reminders, skilled nursing services, therapy and more.

24-HOUR 7 DAYS A WEEK AVAILABILITY:

The time of day you need assistance can vary from the middle of the night to very early in the morning, so make sure the agency can accommodate you any hour you need them. Encompass Senior Solutions is available, mornings, nights, weekends, holidays, temporary or long term.

AGENCY VERSUS REGISTRY:

There are two types of home care companies; one is a registry that finds a person for you to hire. In this situation you are the employer and responsible for Workman’s Compensation, unemployment and other State and Federal taxes. To avoid being responsible for taxes, and the risk of a hefty Workers Compensation claim, only hire an agency (as is Encompass Senior Solutions) who provides you with caregivers that are employees of the agency, and not working independently.