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Questions to Ask to Make an Informed Decision
There are many options to consider when you start needing help to maintain your independence. Some people prefer to remain in their homes while others move to a Retirement Home, Assisted Living Facility, or Nursing /Rehabilitation Center.

If you choose not to stay in your home, it’s a good idea to contact a Senior Referral and Placement Service. They will assess your situation and then provide you with a list of facilities that can fulfill your needs and desires. There is generally no fee associated with these services, and it gives you the opportunity to make an educated decision.

An In-home Care provider can offer assistance that makes it easier for you to stay in your home. Such agencies provide basic help all the way to very complex personal care. These services include light housekeeping, companionship and personal care, medication administration and transporting you to doctor’s appointments, all on a continual basis.

 
9 Questions and Answers
What services does the In-home Care Agency provide; Full Service or Basic Services? What are the costs? It is interesting to find that many Homemaking and Basic Service Agencies charge the same rate as Full Service Agencies. Full Service Agencies have Registered Nurses that supervise all of the care. 
    No Worries Answer: No Worries is a Full Service In-home Care Agency with Nurse supervised Certified Nursing Assistants and Personal Care Aides specializing in: Elder Care, Recovery Care, Personal Care, Complex Care, Foot Care, and Hospice. Personal Care Aides are trained for basic to complex personal care and medication administration. They are also able to assist with meal preparation, changing bed linens, laundry, transportation to appointments or errands, light housekeeping, companionship and much more.
Who supervises the care provided by the Personal Care Aides…does a Registered Nurse?
    No Worries Answer: No Worries has four Registered Nurses and an Education Specialist who train and supervise the care of all clients.
Is the Supervisor available 24 hours a day if the staff or client has a question or problem?
    No Worries Answer: A Nurse is available 24 hours a day if the staff or client has a question or concern. After hours we have a medical answering service. Once paged, the Administrative Staff Member will promptly call back to solve any staff or client concerns. Our staff and clients know that we call back quickly.
Does the Agency do drug screens and criminal checks on all employees?
    No Worries Answer: No Worries values your safety. All employees must pass a drug screen, criminal background check and reference checks before being selected.
How are services set-up?
    No Worries Answer: A Supervisor sets up services by coming to your home and meeting with you to talk about your needs and to develop a goal directed plan of care. The Supervisor then has a Care Conference with the Administrative Staff where the appropriate caregiver or team of caregivers is selected. A Plan of Care is developed and the Supervisor collaborates with the Physician and any other specialty services involved in the care. The Supervisor puts together a Home Notebook specific to the client. Sections may include POLST/DNR forms, Plan of Care, Medication Forms and Medication Information, Flow Sheets, Charting Notes, and a Nutrition section, . The Supervisor takes the first caregiver to the client's home for introductions. This detail is the basis for our quality care. Make sure the agency you choose will provide you the same consideration.
What happens with scheduling when a Personal Care Aide calls in sick?
    No Worries Answer: We are dependable. We have back-up staff for sick calls or emergencies. We also have a special call-in system for clients who have medical necessity and could experience physical harm if a staff member was late. They call the office when they arrive for their shift. For after hours shifts, the on-call supervisor receives notification they have arrived. If we don’t get the notification, we immediately begin our follow-up protocol at no extra charge.
What happens if a Personal Care Aide is injured on the job? Does the Agency have Worker's Compensation Insurance?
    No Worries Answer: SAIF Corporation provides Worker's Compensation coverage for the staff at No Worries.
Does the Agency have an In-home Care License? Are they Bonded and Insured?
    No Worries Answer: No Worries is Bonded, Insured, and Licensed by the Health Division of Oregon.
Is Case Management provided free of charge as part of providing quality care?
    No Worries Answer: Our Supervisors average 50-100 case management calls a week that are free and part of providing the highest quality of care.
 
Advice from an Expert
“Go for experience. Find a home care agency that has worked in this specific area. ... Having the assistance of a skilled organization that can deal with the many problems inherent in this work is invaluable.”

Dr. Mark S. Lachs suggestion in the October 2003 Prevention Magazine
 
 
 
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