Finding the best senior home care

By Laura Bonson

When shopping for senior home care there are a few things to keep in mind. Taking care of a few details upfront may help fight off difficulties later on.

Do plenty of research. When searching for the right kind of care, be sure to see if the caregiver or company is qualified for the services needed. If a business doesn't proudly display that they are licensed or certified right off the bat, drop them immediately and look somewhere else. Look for reviews on their website or references from former patients or family of patients. See if they are endorsed by anyone. If the company you choose cannot provide you with adequate information you need, there's no need to continue talking with them.

Cheaper isn't always better. We all want a good deal, but saving on quality home health care isn't the best way to save money. Some companies may offer only a few of the services that the senior will need. Some companies may not be able or will be unwilling to work the hours the senior needs.

Don't go with the most expensive option either. Just because a service is expensive, doesn't mean that it would be best for the client. Depending on their state of health, the client may end up paying for services that they do not need.

Be thorough. Not all senior home care companies are the same. Be sure that the services your loved one needs is the same that the company can provide.

When in doubt - ask! Now is not the time to be shy. Whether you are seeking services for yourself or someone else, you want to make sure that everyone is "on the same page" and that there is no miscommunication among the parties involved. Some companies are willing to make changes to their policies if you just ask.

Know who is paying for the senior home care. Will you be paying for the services yourself or will it be paid by a third party such as Medicaid, Medicare, the Veterans Administration or even a private health insurance company? If you will not be paying the bill directly, be sure you know what is expected of the payer. Medicaid, Medicare and others may have specific requirements that will need to be met by the care providers in order for them to cover the expenses.

Don't forget the patient. Whether the patient is yourself, a friend or a loved one, be sure that they are comfortable with the arrangement you choose and the people who will be serving them. Senior home care should be quality care in the convenience and comfort of one's home.

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