The decision to hire in home care services can be fraught with confusion and uncertainty: how do you know when the time is right to find help? Let’s jump ahead and assume that your family has made the decision to hire, and now you are searching for help with senior care. What are some of the questions you should ask, and what factors can help you make a decision as to which organization to move forward with? Let’s take a look!
What is the difference between a senior care agency and a senior care registry?
The difference between agencies and registries is one of the most important distinctions you can consider. In short, an agency employs its caregivers, whereas a registry is a listing or network of independent contractors. Why does this distinction matter? Well, the financial and legal liability of an agency is significantly different from that of a registry. When caregivers are also employees (as they are in an agency), then the hiring process is likely to be more thorough. This is because the agency is liable for insurance, licensing, bonding, worker’s compensation, payroll taxes, and more. With all those added responsibilities comes an additional incentive to hire the best, most qualified people. Isn’t that who you want taking care of your loved ones?
What is the agency’s approach to matching caretakers and clients?
The relationship between a caregiver and a client is incredibly important. Consider some of the assistance your loved one may need help with: bathing, dressing, food preparation, medication reminders, movement around the house, etc. Now imagine having someone help with these tasks that is not competent, invested, or compassionate, (or perhaps there is a personality conflict), and senior care might become a less-than-pleasant experience.
At Pennsylvania Agency of Nurses, all of our prospective client visits are accomplished by one of two Registered Nurses. After getting to know the family, patient, and environment (and filling out an initial Home Health Aide Care Plan), this member engages with our scheduling team to see who on the staff is best suited to the prospective client based on needs, personality, capability, and more. Think of it more like a matching service than a round-hole, round-peg approach. And if ever there is a conflict, all it takes is a phone call to adjust!
Why does it matter if senior care is nurse-owned, nurse-run?
Two words: competence and experience. At PAN, we’re proud to share that everyone in our organization - from management on down - has experience with in home care services. What this means is that anyone you engage with from our company is trained to understand and recognize medical concerns, and can accurately transmit those to a primary care physician. It’s a sad fact that the medical aspect of senior care is often left out of the picture; with a nurse-owned, nurse-operated agency, you can be sure this won’t be the case. There is a variety of different skill sets available in senior care, ranging from Registered Nurses (RN) and Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN) to Home Health Aides (HHA) and Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA). At PAN, we have caretakers in all these categories.
Finding quality in home care for a loved one can be a stressful experience for family members. Rest assured, there are resources available (contact us) to help navigate the transition. Armed with the right knowledge, finding an appropriate agency for senior care can turn into a pleasant experience. You maintain control, we absorb the stress!