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How do I Choose the Best Caregiver Service?

By Erin J. Hill
Updated May 17, 2024
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When a loved one needs ongoing care in-home, it is of the utmost importance to choose the best caregiver service. To do so, start by interviewing potential in-home caregivers and explaining your loved one's needs and problems. He or she should be licensed for dealing with the type of situation you have, and should know emergency care techniques should they become necessary. You should also be sure that the caregiver you choose is friendly, personable, and gets along well with his or her patients.

To choose the best caregiver service, you should begin looking for referrals through the patient's hospital or doctor. If there are no options available this way, look through your local phone directory for caregiver agencies. Call each person or agency and ask questions about what types of care they provide and what training caregivers have received. Patients who only need a helping hand with household duties and to have someone on-hand in case of emergency may only require someone trained in lifesaving techniques and housekeeping. More seriously ill patients should remain in the care of a nurse or nurse's aid.

Once you have narrowed down your options, hold in-home interviews with you and the patient for which the care will be given. Your loved one will likely help you choose the best caregiver service if he or she is able to do so. If not, you can handle the interview alone, but make sure you keep the patient's preferences in mind when asking questions. You should choose a caregiver who is not only trained with the appropriate skills, but also has a good attitude when dealing with patients.

If you will be paying for the caregiver using insurance, you may be limited in the agencies or individuals you can choose from. Some insurance providers may have a specified list of care providers covered by their policies. Look into these companies first, but if none meet your criteria, you may choose to pay out of pocket or to switch insurance providers if possible. This will ensure that you are able to choose the best caregiver service available.

In the event that paying out of pocket is not feasible, you may consider enlisting the help of friends or family members to help out when able. If constant medical interventions are not needed, you or another family member may be the optimum choice for caregiver. Not only will your loved one be comfortable in the care of someone he or she knows, but you will likely save money in the long run by only using a trained nurse when absolutely needed.

Fortunately, most times you can choose the best caregiver service, even when faced with insurance restrictions. Most caregivers are well-trained and professional, but if you ever have any questions or concerns about your loved one's treatment, don't hesitate to speak up. Ensuring that those you care for are properly looked after when you can't be there is one of the most important things you can do for them.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

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