It Starts At “Hello!”

For older Americans especially those experiencing memory loss, hiring a stranger to enter their home can be frightening. Even with another loved one living at home, the thought of someone new and unknown visiting them for a few hours a day can haunt their thoughts and make them uneasy about accepting in-home care services. From the beginning, the home care agency’s representative must be empathetic to the client’s concerns and respectful of their wishes before they provide them with the home care services they need. How does this happen? It all starts at “Hello!”5

When a family member or the prospective client makes the first inquiry of a home care agency, being treated with respect by the person on the other end of the phone line or answering email is critical for the conversation to continue. Listening to their story unfold and following up with appropriate questions to gain more insight and understanding helps build the bonds of trust needed for a healthy client-agency relationship. Such information is integral in matching the client’s needs with the agency’s qualified caregivers which further strengthens their trust.

For many adults the benefits of “aging in place” in their homes amid familiar surroundings and routines far outweighs the other care alternatives. When needing assistance in their homes, hiring a home care agency is a safe, affordable way to ensure your loved one’s activities of daily living and needs for socialization are consistently met and your family does not become the employer by hiring someone privately.

Agency-based caregivers provide everything from a few hours of companionship per week to 24/7 live-in care, and everything in between. Home care services include companionship, housekeeping, and assistance with errands, shopping, doctors’ appointments, and other activities plus assistance with dressing and personal care, and medication reminders.

Did you know Home Care Agencies are?

• Registered and overseen by the CT Department of Consumer Services. Hint: The lower the license number, the longer the agency has been providing services to clients.
• Engaged in rigorous vetting process when hiring caregivers that includes background and reference checks.
• Responsible for paying workers’ compensation and general liability insurance for their caregivers as well as payroll taxes.
• Experienced at hiring and finding just the right caregiver for your loved one.
• Able to provide a substitute caregiver when your scheduled caregiver is unable to work.

Families considering home care will benefit from an agency’s years of experience and its partnership to develop the right plan of care, find the right caregiver(s) to provide the care, adjust the ongoing care plan as the client’s condition changes, and address issues and challenges that often bewilder inexperienced families. It starts with “Hello”!

Editor’s Note: This article was submitted by Companions & Homemakers, Inc., Connecticut’s oldest and most trusted home care agency.