Ways to Vet a Caregiver or Caregiving Agency

By Toni L. Kamins: For More Info, Go Here…

Here’s where to start and what questions to consider.

Recently, The Wall Street Journal published the results of its investigation into the practices of Care.com, the country’s largest matching site for caregivers, babysitters and nannies. What it found raises serious questions for anyone who needs to hire help to care for a loved one.

Care.com claims to have overhauled many questionable procedures and policies since The Wall Street Journal article in March, but the findings should make all of us think carefully about how we evaluate the qualifications of people we employ to do the vital, difficult and sometimes emotionally fraught tasks associated with caregiving.

To Vet Caregivers, Start with Your State Government
Amy Goyer, a family and caregiving expert for AARP and the author of the book Juggling Life, Work, and Caregiving, has plenty of professional and personal experience in this area.

When looking for a reliable home care agency, she advises, check with your state’s monitoring and licensing departments first. The government groups that monitor and license home care agencies vary from state to state, but a call to your state’s department of aging or department of health should point you in the right direction.

In addition, says Goyer, Medicare’s Home Health Compare lists Medicare-certified agencies, which may be useful even if you’re not using Medicare to pay.

Unfortunately, the quality of Medicare’s patient care ratings are of limited use, since they only indicate that a particular agency performed better, the same or not as well as other agencies in “selected measures.” This is borne out by the low patient survey marks given even to the agencies with Medicare’s highest ratings. But it’s a place to start.

Questions for a Caregiver Agency

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