The baby-boomer generation is moving into retirement and has many options about how to organize their post-work living situation.
According to a 2017 retirement study by Merrill Lynch, "Today's retirees have more freedom and options when choosing where and how they want to live."
With this freedom, many retirees decide they want to stay in their homes. However, they may need outside help to manage their daily routine.
"It's not always easy to ask for help, but if you are in need of support as you are caring for your loved one, getting the help you need can make all the difference," says Melissa Morante, Chief Marketing Officer at ComForCare Senior Services.
This is where home healthcare agencies - companies that place caregivers in the homes of seniors and their families - come in.
Although interviewing individual caregivers may be important to some, more important is finding the right home healthcare agency to help you and your loved ones get the best help.
What is a home healthcare agency?
When someone decides to stay at home but has mobility issues, has trouble managing a full routine or is lonely, contacting a home healthcare agency starts the process of finding an experienced and vetted caregiver to meet that person's specific needs.
Home healthcare agencies interview, meticulously vet and place caregivers with seniors. Caregivers that work for a home healthcare agency are their employees, which means they are licensed, bonded and insured, and the agency pays the professional liability insurance. The agency also pays workers compensation and the employment taxes.
Families usually choose to find a caregiver through a home healthcare agency because it frees them from having to do a wide search. They can also avoid checking into the qualifications of a caregiver, managing their schedule and dealing with the insurance and other paperwork associated with employing someone.
Being caring and invested
Every senior has a different housing situation, routine, likes, dislikes and specific medical conditions. As such, when searching for an agency, look for an organization that invests in their clients' specific needs and concerns.
The right agency will take these complex components into account, be easy to communicate with and, above all, be genuinely concerned about you and your loved one's well-being.
Search for an agency that listens and records in detail what you're looking for and how they can help you find the right caregiver.
Having the right employment system
The best home healthcare agencies have a rigorous interview and vetting process, and match their clients with caregivers who check all of their boxes.
Ask the organizations you're interested in how they make sure the caregivers they hire are professionals who have experience and exceptional backgrounds. You can also ask what type of background checks caregivers have passed and how long the typical caregiver has worked with the organization.
Additionally, because sometimes caregivers move, change professions or switch schedules, the right home healthcare agency will quickly and reliably find an alternative who has gone through the same process and will take the place of a previous caregiver.
Having the right licenses and insurance
When hiring any company or agency, check that it abides by the laws of the city, state where it's located and that it is a responsible employer for the caregivers who will serve you or your family member.
Any home healthcare agency should have a business license and insurance, including worker's compensation insurance, which pays for medical care and loss of wages due to accidents on the job.
If you have a caregiver injured on the job and the employing agency doesn't have this insurance, the client may be responsible for lost wages and medical bills.
Every state has different requirements when it comes to specific types of licenses and insurance bonding for these types of agencies, so do your homework to see what's required in your area.
Finding an agency others trust
When it comes down to it, you need to feel comfortable when you interview home healthcare agencies. More importantly, you need to find one you know is responsible and trustworthy.
To speak with experienced professionals about finding help for you or your loved one, contact ComForCare to learn more and ask any questions.