The time has come to hire the services of an in-home caregiver. You have decided that seeking a caregiver through an agency is the best option. But how does one go about choosing among the many agencies available? How do you judge the quality of the agency? What are the criteria to consider?
With more and more caregiver agencies opening for business every day, choosing the right one can be a daunting process. In the interest of making the best decision for you, your family, and your loved one, there are several factors to first consider that can be very helpful in evaluating an in-home caregiver agency. Start by asking:
- Are they certified or accredited by a credible health service organization?
- Are they accredited by the Better Business Bureau?
- Are they rated by the Better Business Bureau?
Beginning with these questions, you can already eliminate quite a few agencies and hone in on the more reputable ones. One highly regarded certification is that from the California Association of Health Services at Home (CAHSAH)—considered a leading statewide home care association in the United States. Representing more than 556 members and 850 offices of direct health care providers and support services and products in the home, CAHSAH members range from Medicare-certified home health agencies, licensed home health agencies, hospices, private duty organizations, home medical equipment providers, home infusion pharmacy providers and interdisciplinary professional services.
CAHSAH’s Home Care Aide Organization Certification Program requires that organizations submit evidence of having met the Certification Standards for Home Care Aide Organizations. After the evidence is verified to be complete, CAHSAH issues a certificate that the following requirements have been met to satisfy the Certification Standards:
• The organization’s caregivers must be employees of the agency and not independently hired contractors
• The organization must carry workers’ compensation, liability insurance, and an employee dishonesty bond
• The organization’s caregivers must have been through a thorough background check
• The organization must screen its caregivers for tuberculosis
Another thing to look for in evaluating an in-home caregiver agency is whether or not they have been accredited and rated by the Better Business Bureau (BBB). An accreditation is an affirmation by the BBB that a business is committed in making a good faith effort to resolve consumer complaints and while adhering to the BBB Code of Business Practices.
A Better Business Bureau rating, a grading system from A+ to F, is the BBB’s evaluation of a business according to numerous criteria representing the BBB’s degree of confidence that the business is operating in a trustworthy manner.
Certifications and positive evaluations from CAHSAH and the Better Business Bureau, however, are not exhaustive. There are other trustworthy certification organizations one can look for in evaluating an agency such as the Joint Committee for Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO), the National League for Nursing, and the National Foundation of Hospice and Home Care.
Finding a caregiver through a professional agency not only offers peace of mind and saves time, but it also assures you of quality care, legal compliance, limiting risks, and most importantly, allows your elderly loved one to stay at home. By contracting with an accredited and rated agency, it also offers premier assurance that quality and professional help will be in your home.
Sequoia Senior Solutions is one of two such highly rated in-home caregiver agencies operating throughout Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino, and Lake Counties, with a CAHSAH Certification Standards certificate, an accreditation from the Better Business Bureau, and a BBB A+ rating. Don’t settle for less in hiring an in-home caregiver. Aging today can, and should be, dignified, and today’s in-home care solutions provided by an insured, bonded, full-employment, accredited, and rated agency offers this possibility.