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Monmouth, IL 61462

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Serving Fulton, Hancock, Henderson, Henry, Knox, McDonough, Mercer, Schuyler, Rock Island, and Warren Counties.

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How to Deal with a Loved One That Refuses Needed Support There Really Is No Place like Home Home Care 101 Risks of Hiring a Private Caregiver HOME

October 9, 2013

by Joel Newman

Aging in place is becoming one of the fastest growing trends in long-term care. While institutionalized care may provide a viable option for many seniors, receiving convenient care in the comfort of their own home is becoming the preferred way to provide services to seniors.

Strong demand from the Baby Boomers to stay in their homes has started a growing market for home care agencies in the community, each offering unique programs and product lines that help target the senior population as they continue to age. Before choosing which home care company you want to partner with, here are a few questions you may want to consider asking before choosing an agency:

How long have you been serving our community?

Look for an agency that has been ingrained in the community for some time. Home care is one of the fastest growing industries in the nation and many entrepreneurs are gravitating to the business model to capitalize on the growing need for in-home care. Agencies that have been in the community for 30-plus years have seen drastic changes in the home care field, allowing a level of knowledge and expertise that many other companies do not yet possess. Long-standing organizations also tend to have stronger relationships with other care providers that can produce desired results for the person receiving care.  

Are you an independent agency or an affiliate?

When choosing a home care agency, decide if you want to be a part of a larger system or if you’d rather partner with an independent agency. While both have their benefits, it’s important to pick a home care provider that fits your needs, lifestyle and family dynamics. Home care agencies that are incorporated into a health system or are a franchise of a national chain may have more resources at their fingertips but may also have more rigid regulations that may not allow for a tailored care plan. Independent agencies are often better able to personalize care that caters to seniors and their family, but they may not always have health care specialists at their disposal.

What services do you offer?

While many home care agencies offer either medical or non-medical services, it’s a unique benefit to partner with a home care agency that offers both. If it is the intent of seniors to age in place, then it’s important to have in-home care that provides the medical attention you need, with the supportive services that allow you to focus on recuperating at home.

If you are planning on rehabbing after a surgery or recent fall, make sure the home care company offers in-home therapy so there is no need for you to have a short stay in a skilled nursing facility or have to leave home for outpatient therapy.

When are your services available?

Many home care agencies are not able to provide care and services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Many more don’t admit patients or see clients after hours or on the weekend. If flexibility is important to your specific care plan, search for a company that can visit you on a timeframe that’s suitable to you.

Also, be sure to know if agency supervisors and staff take calls after traditional office hours. Ask if you’ll be speaking directly to a staff member knowledgeable of the situation or an offsite, on-call service that may not be able to answer specific questions to the care that is provided.  

Keeping in mind what works best for you and what services you need is crucial to a successful partnership with an in-home provider. Home care is a critical step in the continuum of care and picking a home care agency should not be taken lightly. Should you have any questions about care that can be provided in our community, please feel free to call 1-800-228-5993.

Joel Newman is the Director of Business Development for Western Illinois Home Health Care.

How to Choose a Home Health Agency

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