There are thousands of home care agencies in Southern California. How do you navigate to find an agency you are comfortable with that will provide the best care?
To find the right fit for you or your loved one, there are certain questions that you should ask of any prospective agency, such as:
1. Is the agency licensed? As of July 1, 2015 all home care agencies are required to be licensed by the State and all of their employed caregivers are required to be registered by the State. Each company has a license number and each caregiver has a State ID number.
2. Are the caregiver W-2 Employees of the Agency? This means the employees have taxes withheld, and are the legal responsibility of the agency. Some companies are Registries and only "match" a caregiver and 1099 them, putting the full liability on you.
3. Does the agency carry proper insurance? Ask for a copy of the agency's proof of insurance. They should have Liability, Workers' Compensation and Bonding insurance.
4. What is the communication process between the caregiver and the agency staff? Careful and continuous monitoring ensures that appropriate action can be taken to ensure the safety of the clients and identify any performance questions with the caregivers.
The decision to stay at home and look for help is an important one, and is often fraught with emotions. Having a caregiver should help with the stress on the clients and the family members. Hopefully this list of questions will remove some of the stress and provide you with some guidance on finding the right home care company and right caregiver.
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