Caregiver Jobs

7 Tips for Selecting the Best Caregiver Agency

A caregiver agency is one that deals with locating and assigning licensed home caregivers in a specific area. Finding the right caregiver agency for your elderly loved ones is an important task. The following are some tips on making the right decision.

  1. Get ordinary reviews and recommendations: One of the best ways to get ordinary reviews and recommendations is to simply talk to people in the area who may have experience with the agency. For instance, you might talk to friends or relatives who have parents or other elderly relatives to which the agency has sent in home caregivers. This is the grassroots approach, and these friends and relatives can give you a valuable sense of how the agency conducts itself. You can also read internet review sites about specific agencies. This will give you further grassroots type feedback about the best agencies to consider using.
  2. Talk to experts: Another source of recommendations and advice is to talk to experts. Speak with local doctors, nurses, caregivers, and hospital personnel. These individuals can give you more expert advice pertaining to the agencies with the best reputations in the area. Though more casual references may say that a certain agency is friendly or easy to work with, you need to verify that the agency conducts itself with medical professionalism and clinical capability. Experts are in a position to know this sort of information about a caregiver agency. The fact that an agency has good customer service, is inexpensive, or sends caregivers out promptly means little if the company doesn’t have a good reputation, medically speaking. The clinical professionalism of the agency and the caregivers it provides needs to be at a high level.
  3. Check out background of agency: You can investigate the background of the agency — the history of the company and so on — to get a better sense of its quality level. You can look up agency history online, check with professional organizations of which it may be a member (more on this below), and even check with the Better Business Bureau. These formal means of getting background information are worth using and will give you a better sense of the agency’s track record over time.
  4. Evaluate needs of loved ones: In addition to making sure the agency is reputable, you need to make sure that it is well-suited to the needs of your parent or the elderly friend or relative for whom you are seeking care. Evaluate their needs and make sure the agency is experienced at giving the type of care that the care receiver requires. An agency might, for instance, be primarily suited to more low maintenance cases, and if your loved needs higher level medical care, they may not be experienced in dealing with it. Simply find out what type of care the agency is most experienced in giving before deciding to employ it.
  5. Evaluate attitude of agency: The attitude of the agency is important, and this is something that is best to gauge in person. Talk to agency and staff and decide if they are friendly, accessible, answer questions in a cheerful and voluntary manner, and seem to have good customer service. Just as with any other industry, not all such agencies conduct themselves with the same type of attitude. Some are more monetarily motivated than others and some simply have better customer service and informational availability. Try to make sure that the agency values its customers and deals with them fairly.
  6. Prepare questions to ask individual caregivers: The individual caregivers that the company uses will, after all, be the main individuals dealing with your elderly parents or relatives. These people should be interviewed before you place your loved ones in their care. Prepare a list of questions to ask these individuals to find out if they are qualified. The reputability of the agency should be reflected in the quality of its caregivers. Ask caregivers about their experience, their credentials, and perhaps what they would do in specific caregiving situations.
  7. Consider professional organizations: One final tip for finding top-notch providers is to check if they are members of professional organizations. Organizations such as the National Organization of Geriatric Care Managers and the Home Health Nurses organization are national organizations that regulate the industry. It tends to be a good sign when agencies and caregivers are members of these organizations. You can also check with local organizations in the state in which you live. As noted above, these agencies can vouch for the reputability of a caregiver agency and can give you valuable information about their service standards and credentials.