Article of the Week on ElderCareMatters.com: "The Top Five Things to Consider When Choosing Your Home Healthcare Provider"

flhcBart Delsing, Owner & Chief Operating Officer
FirstLantic Healthcare, Inc.
Delray Beach, Florida  33445
561-243-7979
Member of the national ElderCare Matters Alliance

The Top Five Things to Consider When Choosing
Your Home Healthcare Provider
 

When faced with choosing a home healthcare provider, more often than not, it is a topic you have not discussed with your family and loved ones prior to the need for one. While one’s initial instinct might be to choose the first name that appears when you Google “home healthcare,” like all other good decisions, it is best to do your homework. All home healthcare companies are certainly not alike.

Home healthcare is typically skilled nursing and therapy services and often includes the need for other non-medical services that address functional needs of everyday living such as meals and grooming. This personalized care eases the anxiety and stress associated with most forms of healthcare and allows a maximum amount of freedom for the individual.

Given how critical it is to feel safe, confident and comfortable in your decision, look for these important factors prior to choosing.

Is the agency licensed and accredited? 

Home healthcare providers that are licensed need to be so with at least one of the following accreditation organizations: Accreditation Commission for Health Care (ACHC), Community Health Accreditation Program (CHAP) or Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare (JCAHO). For hourly and live-in care, the agency must have a registered license in home health care with the State of Florida. Keep in mind that prior to July 1, 2010 not all home healthcare agencies were required to be accredited, but FirstLantic Healthcare chose to be accredited at the highest level with ACHC. 

How long has the company been in business? 

Well-established providers generally have higher staff retention rates than upstart companies and thus offer more experienced, trained caregivers. New home healthcare companies are popping up everywhere, everyday so it is highly important to make sure they have the proper accreditations and procedures in place. 

Do they offer the types of services required? 

Whether it is professional nursing or supportive services, a comprehensive home healthcare provider will deliver a wide variety of services, ranging from professional nursing to physical, occupational, respiratory, and speech therapies. They also may provide hourly and live-in home care services either at your home, assisted living facility, nursing home or even at the hospital. In addition, some home healthcare agencies, such as FirstLantic Healthcare, offer professional care management whereby care managers work privately and individually with each client and their families or loved ones to create a short or long term plan of care that meets the unique needs of each client. An individual may receive a single type of care or a combination of services, depending on the complexity of his or her needs. 

What do others have to say about the company? 

If a home healthcare provider has been around awhile, you should have no problem researching their reputation through the Better Business Bureau, local healthcare providers, and from friends and family. Check out their website for testimonials and/or call the agency to see if they offer a referral contact. It is important to hear that the company is reliable, and that the services they offer are delivered with professional, compassionate care that you deserve and demand. 

Do they offer quality caregivers? 

Proper screening of caregivers is critical to ensuring your safety. Make sure they have the appropriate, and most up-to-date, certifications and licenses for the particular care you require. There is no substitution for a professional, dedicated, and compassionate caregiver.

Once you have done your homework, you can feel confident moving forward on choosing the provider that aptly suits your needs and offers the most complete and personalized care for you or your loved one.

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