August 10, 2017

Achieving Peace of Mind with Aging Parents

The ultimate goal for most adult children with aging parents is having peace of mind they will receive compassionate and appropriate care. Once the decision is made to bring in extra help for ones parents, and an agency is chosen, other concerns set in. Is mom being treated like the matriarch of our family? Is dad receiving the respect that he deserves? Are their needs being met in a holistic way?

No matter how impressive a company seems initially, the real gold standard of any home care company lies with the quality of their caregiving staff. The administrator, executive director or staffing coordinator is not the one providing the day-to-day, hands-on care. Obviously, they set the standard within the organization but the real determination of the success of the company lies in the quality of the care that clients receive in the hands of the caregivers the agency selects. Questions arise about how can one be sure that the company hired is sending caring professionals to the home? What questions can be asked prior to signing an agreement?

As a starting point, use an outline to get information about basic agency procedures and caregiver qualifications, certifications and education.

Include questions such as:
Are the caregivers employees of the agency or contractors?
Are criminal background checks done?
Is the agency licensed? What about the caregivers?
Reference checks?
CPR training?
Is there initial and ongoing in-service training for the staff?
Are staff trained in the following topics? Dementia care; stroke; fall risk prevention; infection control; healthy nutrition; diabetic supportive care; end of life care; proper body mechanics for caregiver and client; and emergency preparedness.
Are caregivers supervised? How often and by whom?
Do the caregivers come to the rehab facility for caregiver training prior to discharge home?
What happens if you are not satisfied with the caregiver, is there a backup caregiver on standby?
What is the agency call out policy? Does the agency send a replacement aide in the event of a call out, or is it on the family to cover?

You should have 100% peace of mind knowing that your loved one is cared for in the way you expect. Quality care for the client and a positive experience for the family should be standard for every agency! To learn more about senior care options in your area, visit us at