Questions to Ask a Caregiver Agency

Questions to Ask a Caregiver Agency

Choosing a family caregiver is no easy task. You want someone who will treat your loved ones with the care and dignity they deserve. Someone who will complete all of their duties with love and careful attention — someone for whom being a caregiver is not just a job, but a life mission. In order to do so, it’s crucial to do extensive research, as well as to ask the right questions. But, how do you know where to start?

10 Important Questions to Ask a Caregiver Agency

1. What skills do you look for in caregivers?

Taking care of others should be a calling. Individuals who become caregivers must choose to do so out of a genuine desire to help others — to make them more comfortable, provide company and comfort, and help improve their quality of life. In addition to practical training, it’s crucial to have a team of people who are also patient, empathetic, and can think quickly on their feet.

Ask about the agency’s hiring process and how they ensure they are hiring the best professionals for the job. In addition, you’ll want assurances that each caregiver has passed a thorough background check — with no previous complaints from other people in their care, and no criminal history.

2. Do you have specialized caregivers?

Just as there is a wide range of health issues and physical ailments, there are different types of skills that may be required to take care of your loved one. For example, if your loved one is non-verbal or has dementia, their caregiver should be able to know precisely what to do in every related scenario — as well as recognize signs of complications.

3. Do your caregivers have reliable transportation?

Yes, there are plenty of bus routes that are available to assist people with no motor vehicles of their own. However, what happens if a bus is late, breaks down, or doesn’t come? Having reliable transportation is not only essential to ensure your caregiver arrives at all of their shifts on time, but to also take your loved one to doctor’s appointments if that’s part of your Plan of Care.

4. Is the caregiver physically able to care for your loved one?

Some individuals simply need companion care and someone to give them their medications at certain times. However, others require a more active role from a caregiver — such as transferring them from a bed to a wheelchair and vice versa, helping them go to the bathroom, or taking a bath. Is the caregiver strong enough to regularly carry the weight of your loved one? The answer to these questions can have an impact on their day-to-day care

5. What duties, in addition to caregiving, will the caregiver provide?

This will all be part of the Plan of Care. You want to make sure both sides are clear on what the job entails. Does it include making meals? Helping the patient with personal hygiene? Physical therapy? Taking your loved one to appointments? Light housekeeping? Make a list of every single factor that needs to be taken into account.

6. If your loved one requires meals, will the caregiver know what to prepare?

If preparing meals is part of the service agreement, you want to make sure that the caregiver not only has the experience of making good meals, but that they are knowledgeable about dietary restrictions. Common issues include food allergies, celiac disease, lactose intolerance, or having to significantly increase caloric intake — such as is necessary in the case of a loved one with cystic fibrosis.

7. Will I be able to get the same caregiver every day?

Needing a caregiver at home is the result of difficult circumstances. Therefore, you want to make things as easy as possible for your loved one. You want them to be comfortable and feel at ease. This often means seeing the same caregiver consistently. This allows for fostering a relationship and helps them to form bonds. This is especially important when your loved one is a child who’s craving some sense of routine and normalcy in the midst of their health issues.

8. What happens if my caregiver calls in sick or goes on vacation?

Life happens. Caregivers are human. If they don’t feel well, they will need time off — whether it’s to allow themselves to heal, or to protect your immunocompromised loved one. When this occurs, what policies does the caregiving company have in place to ensure there’s a reliable backup to take care of your loved one? By the same token, you want to make sure you’ll be able to schedule a caregiver for last-minute emergencies — such as having to work late, an accident, or running impromptu errands. Will the caregiving company be able to provide you with a trustworthy caregiver at a moment’s notice?

9. Do you follow up with your clients?

Sometimes, you may mean to reach out to the caregiving company to bring up any concerns, or to simply ask a question. But between work, parenting, running errands, and caring for your loved one when the caregiver’s shift ends, it may slip your mind. Having the caregiving company initiate follow-up calls will make things easier for you.

10. What is your company doing to keep clients safe during the COVID pandemic?

COVID-19 turned the world upside down. Routines were changed around the world, and healthcare entities had to modify their policies to go above and beyond client expectations. Since day one, at Sonas Home Health Care, we’ve created contingency plans that follow CDC guidelines that include coronavirus screenings of all of our caregivers — as well as their family members. We provide personal protective equipment (PPE), and additional training on infection control practices. Our team is always available and willing to discuss any specific concerns you may have.

Contact Sonas for Home Health Care in Florida

It can be hard to balance your time between work, home, and caring for a loved one. That’s why our team of skilled professionals at Sonas Home Health Care is here to help.

Our home health care services offer support in the comfort of your home. We refer loving and competent caregivers to provide customized care for families — from a few hours a day to around-the-clock supervision. Contact us directly to speak with a home health care professional or request a free in-home assessment. Together we can determine the best plan of action to keep your loved ones happy and healthy.

If you or a loved one are considering adult home health care services in Florida, contact the caring staff at Sonas Home Health Care. Call today at (888) 592-5855.

Janelle Thomas MSN, RN
Director of Clinical Education at Sonas Home Health Care

Janelle Thomas MSN, RN — Director of Clinical Education for Sonas Home Health Care — reviewed this content for clinical accuracy. Janelle Thomas has been a nurse for 8 years — working primarily in pediatrics. She believes that nothing is more rewarding in home health care than creating a connection with a patient and their families that will last a lifetime.