Home Health Care or In-Home Companion Care and Personal Care?

Home Heath Care is the common terminology that typically includes skilled medical care as well as non-medical support services. “In-home companion care” is used by most organizations that are providing non-medical care – and they typically are providing these services to their “clients” as opposed to Home Health Care which is the broader service rendered to their “patients.”

“In-home companion care and Personal care” is a simple concept that can encompass a wide range of social and personalized services. These services are provided at home to recovering, disabled, chronically or terminally ill persons in need of compassionate assistance with various essential activities of daily living.

Generally, home care is appropriate whenever a person prefers to stay at home but needs ongoing care that cannot easily or effectively be provided solely by family and friends. More and more older people, electing to live independent, non-institutionalized lives, are receiving home care services as their physical capabilities diminish.

An important objective of companion care is enabling older adults to maintain their dignity. As hospital stays decrease, increasing numbers of patients need highly competent companion care services when they return home.

Companion care enables people to avoid institutionalization altogether, receiving safe and effective care in the comfort of their own homes. Another, equally important, benefit is the respite and peace-of-mind that family members gain from successful in-home companion care.

Important Considerations When Selecting an In-Home Companion Care and Personal Care Provider

  • What are the specific services offered by the organization and do they meet your needs? If you need transportation, do they provide it?
  • Do they employ their caregivers or are they independent contractors? If the latter, you may have certain risks, i.e., lack of workman’s comp. insurance, no supervision and payroll tax concerns, etc.
  • How does the provider select and train its employees? Do they have policies and procedures and other employment documentation to ensure compliance?
  • What criteria do they use when hiring caregivers?
  • Do they conduct a thorough background check including validation of social security number, address reports, appropriate criminal record checks and a driving record report?
  • Is each employee bonded and does the company have sufficient general and professional liability insurance? Will they show you a copy of their Certificate of Liability Insurance?
  • What is the emphasis placed on compatibility, i.e., matching the appropriate caregiver with the needs and personality of the client and their family?
  • What about communication … is it easy to reach a manager or the owner? Do they willingly involve appropriate family members in developing a Care Plan? How will progress be monitored? Do they have turnover in staff making it difficult for the service to meet your expectations? How responsive are they?
  • Does management personally introduce a new caregiver to the client and/or family or does the caregiver just show up? How do they ensure that their caring program gets started properly?
  • Are the caregivers known for their attentive, friendly, caring and professional demeanor or are they clinical and matter-of-fact in their dealings with the clients?
  • Does the company provide Certified Nurse Aides when the needs of the client require more skilled care?
  • Do they have a service agreement and does it clearly spell out all of the terms and conditions? Can you easily cancel the agreement if your circumstances change?
  • Do they have their caregivers maintain an on-going log that summarizes the details of each care session – and is this available for review by the client and/or family members?
  • What procedures are in place in the event of an emergency?
  • Does the company have relevant business affiliations like the Better Business Bureau or other memberships that show a commitment to professionalism?
  • What is the educational background of the management or ownership? Do they have any credentials directly applicable to caring for seniors?
  • How long has the company been in business?
  • What is the track record of the company? Do they allow you to talk with current and/or past clients? There is no better way to truly find out the quality of service than to speak directly to those people who have been receiving such service.
  • REMEMBER: In-Home Companion Care is an unregulated business so Caveat Emptor … Do your homework.

Tender Hearts at Home Senior Care of Cincinnati, Ohio provides the best non-medical home care services with compassionate caregivers. They provide home health care, elder care, live in carepersonal carecompanion care, respite care, errands, transportation, home helper and senior helper services and all many other types of non-medical senior care. A family owned and operated company in Cincinnati, Ohio and Mason, Ohio serving Hamilton, Butler, Warren, and Clermont counties. Family Helping Families. Please call us when your loved one needs help at 513-234-0805

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