Below is a guideline on choosing the best Caregivers at any agency. Simply ask the below questions to any agency, then record and compare your answers!
Does your agency have a drug testing policy? Most agencies: don’t have a drug testing policy because it’s currently not mandatory from the state health department (Colorado), plus it increases costs. These types of agencies could be considered dangerous by allowing themselves to be open for possible issues, law suites, etc. Also, you may find some agencies that do one 5-panel drug test upon hire… and to be frank, that’s not enough! Instead: try and find an agency that conducts a 14-panel drug test that includes some major pain medications on the panel. Also, ask if they do it upon hire, annually & at random. This will ensure you have a ‘clean’ Caregiver within your home as long as they are providing care.
What kind of background checks does your agency provide? This can be tricky, because not all background check companies are created equal! If the agency: simply conducts a BG check online with any company, you may not be getting the full report. Why you ask? because depending on where the data was pulled, it may be stagnant and outdated, thus your critical results may be tainted. Instead: try and find an agency that conducts at least a 150 point checks that include DMV reports (including DWI and DUI), Social Security trace, county and state-wide searches for felonies and misdemeanors but most importantly… freshly updated data! Also, try and use an agency that does the BG check upon hire, annually and at random. This will ensure you have solid, historically clean Caregivers within your presence… for the entire time they work in your home.
The first visit, do the Caregivers just show up? Most agencies: will do this; they will assign a Caregiver without an introduction. This can be awkward and unnatural because both parties are unfamiliar with each other, their role, duties, etc. Instead: try and find an agency that has an Area Manager that will set up a meeting between the Client and Caregiver for a warm introduction. This is a huge ice-breaker and allows a friendly, comfortable introduction between both parties.
Editor’s Note: This article was submitted by Steve Lee, Founder & Co-Owner of Veterans Aide at Home, a non-skilled home care agency dedicated to Veterans, Spouses and their Widows/ers. He can be reached at 970-415-8030 or by email at Steve@VeteransAideAH.com to learn more.