The dreaded day hits and no one knows what to do or who to call.  You know the one, the day you decide to put your loved one into a facility or hiring a Home Health Care Agency.  You’ve known this day was coming and you’ve probably even gone over it again and again of how taking care of your aging parents would be.  Making these decisions are not easy, especially in families that have been explicitly instructed by the parents that they do not want to be in a nursing home. Riddling the family with guilt and questioning the quality of their love at the slightest mentioning of a facility.  These are hard pills to swallow and much like anything else we want to avoid it because it is easier to ignore it than to prepare.

The amazing part is that we know for sure that we are all going to age. Aging is happening to us whether we like it or not. With each second we get older and closer to death, or I look at this second right now as the youngest I will ever be. Knowing all of this we still put off getting extra help at the end of our lives and let it sneak up on us.

There will be a day when everyone realizes that you or a loved one needs more care than anyone in the family is qualified or able to give.

Needing more care comes as a surprise to most families and for many reasons. Denial is a big one, we humans can deny just about anything. We seem to think if we ignore it will go away.  It’s hard to figure all of this out in advance when we don’t know where to go or who to ask for information and resources that guide and help us prepare.   At Matrix Home Health Care Specialists we don’t get phone calls from families describing their parent’s decline, and how the family thinks within two months, they will need more care. They aren’t calling to give us a heads up so that we will be able to accommodate them with enough staff to care for their parents and guide them along this journey. Instead, it is a phone call filled with urgency, and fear while planning due to the unknowingness of the future, their parent’s welfare, where is the money coming from, and worrying that they do not know what they are doing.

There aren’t a lot of things  Matrix Home Health Care Specialists can do to get ahead of this problem, but there is a way for us to help cut down these urgent calls for such immediate home health care needs. How do we improve this common scenario?  We provide resources and support.  We will do our best to educate on different options that are available as they come up and any changes in Senior Care which will hopefully help out in the pre-planning process for ourselves and all our loved ones.

Choosing A Home Health Care Agency That is Right For You

There are an innumerable amount of home health care companies and interviewing all of them would be next to impossible.  Hopefully, this post is already driving home the need to get a head start.  The recommended approach would be to ask friends and family if they have ever dealt with, had a good experience with, had a bad experience with, or had any business with any home care companies. Referrals by trusted sources are the number one way to narrow your search down to three or four.

Your next step will be to interview these companies. Most companies will send out a liaison who will come to you and explain their services. Tell you exactly what they do and don’t do.  Be sure to ask enough questions so that you have enough information to determine if your values and vision are in alignment with each other.

Try to find out if they are person-centered care or task-oriented care. If you are unfamiliar with these terms, you can learn more about them by clicking this link from last weeks blog.


Questions to ask any Home Care Companies you are considering hiring.

Download the complete checklist for hiring a home care company by clicking the link below.

In the beginning, its good to find out if they are accredited. Accredited means they are officially recognized as meeting the essential requirements.   There aren’t any reasons one would not want to do this unless they were breaking the rules or even the law.

References are also something beneficial to have. It’s a definite red flag if the agency has no references.

Find out if the agency does background checks on all of its employees.

Find out if the caregivers can communicate understandable English to the client and find out if the caregivers can communicate in a language other than English depending on your needs.

Knowing that the Home Health Care company is recommended by a hospital, discharge planner or a social worker can also be very helpful in narrowing down your choice.  These people deal with these companies all the time, and they know what they are indeed like.

Ask them how they determine their needs and level of care. Peoples needs are always changing meaning the need for care could increase or decrease. What is their process of keeping an eye on the changing needs of you or your loved one as they occur?  Having the care plan up to date according to the needs of the client should be a priority for the Home Health Care Agency you decide to use.

Another big thing to look into is the amount of training that the caregivers receive from the Homecare company.  Matrix Home Health Care Specialists go above and beyond what the state requires.  Ask if they do hands-on training by a nurse or if it is all done from internet modules.  You’d also be wise to find out if they do in-service training throughout the year or if they offer some form of continuing education for their caregivers.   If your loved one requires specific care due to something like Alzheimers or dementia, ask if they have had training in these areas. You’re going to want to know if they are able to administer medications and if they are trained in using technology that aides assistance like a Hoyer lift.

Don’t be shy this is your loved one you are taking care of and watching out for.  Go ahead and ask the home care company big questions like what is the process they follow when caring for a client or determining the care plan.  Ask how they supervise their caregivers and do they take input from the client?  It is essential to know how the agency includes the loved ones and family of the client. Is the family involved in the process of finding the right caregiver and do they seek input from the caregiver when determining the care plan?

A governing factor for many families is the home health care agency’s ability to keep the number of caregivers assigned to one person to a minimum. Having a group of people around all the time can be stressful, and it is easier to trust a few people as it is a revolving door of new faces coming in and out of the home.

We are all human, so sometimes things come up, and a caregiver may not be able to make their shift or have to leave early. When these things happen, it is nice to know the agency’s way of handling these types of situations.  It’s important to go with an agency that has 24hr live phone coverage and can deal with these types of emergencies in a peaceful solution minded manner.  Find out what the agencies plan of action is if a caregiver is unable to show up for the shift.   When substitute caregivers are needed, find out how the company goes about choosing replacements.  Knowing the process they use to prepare their caregivers to show up to a clients house they have never been to can put your mind at ease.

If extra help with mobility is needed for example a wheelchair, do they provide that care or service? Do they do the scheduling of the transportation for you?  These are the kinds of things that you will need to know up front, so everyone is on the same page and not startled by costs later.

Last but not least finding out how the company charges for their services and if you pay more for the holidays and weekends.  Make sure that the caregivers are paid enough to be dependable.  Caregivers you can rely on could mean that you might be paying a little more, but ultimately it pays off because you ’ll have someone around who wants to be there and there will be fewer employee turnovers.

Hopefully, this will help you to navigate an overwhelming time in most peoples lives.  It’s tough no matter what, but you can drastically reduce your stress with some pre-planning. Knowing what resources you are going to utilize will be a massive weight off your shoulders when the time comes.  Do a little something for your future self and get educated. Don’t forget us at Matrix Home Health Care Specialists, “We’re there for you.”  Download our complete checklist with all of the right questions to ask when hiring a Home Health Care Agency.


To learn more about joining our team and providing compassionate care services:

  • Apply by submitting an application via fax:  952-525-0506 Attn: HR Manager

Please direct any specific inquiries to Elizabeth, our HR Manager,  by  calling 952-525-0505

“We’re there for you.”

Matrix Home Health Care Specialists & Grace Homes