When a potential client and their family begin the search for a home care agency, they are often unsure about exactly what they need and are uncomfortable with the thought of home care in general. These families will have many questions as they navigate their journey and explore their options. By addressing these questions with confidence and reassuring them that home care is a solution for their loved one, you will grow your home care agency while also easing their concerns.
1. Questions About Laws, Licensure, and Insurance
You can expect to answer a lot of questions about your agency’s state license, how you ensure all caregivers abide by all applicable laws, and even your professional and general liability insurance policies. It is important you feel comfortable talking about these topics freely with a potential client, as most will not know exactly what to expect beyond “yes, we have a license and follow the laws.”
Although not immediately apparent, the intent behind these questions is to determine if your agency and its services meet the minimum standards required and if you provide quality care. Try to explain your caregiver protocols and the protections they provide for clients without complicated legal jargon, as we do within the Honor Care Network. Answer their questions, but keep in mind they usually just need reassurance their loved one will be safe with your agency and the caregiver you assign.
2. Questions About Caregiver Training and Qualifications
Having the best-qualified caregiver available is one of the top concerns for clients and their families. You need to be able to discuss your caregivers’ qualifications, their work history, and their continued training.
Don’t forget that the family members who call you may care about more than the caregiver’s ability to provide support. Since the families are inviting your staff into their home several times a week, and they will have safety concerns. For example, they may ask about background checks your agency performs before hiring, and how you ensure each of your caregivers is a safe driver if they may be transporting potential clients.
3. Questions About Concerns or Complaints
No one likes to talk about what happens when something goes wrong, but it is important that your agency has a plan in place to address concerns or complaints. While not all concerns are as serious as abuse or neglect allegations, any agency whose caregivers are tasked with going into the home of a client and providing care needs to have a plan to deal with this type of accusation.
4. Questions About Caregiver Management
Like you, potential clients and their families understand the caregivers lie at the heart of any home care agency. You can expect to hear many questions that relate to caregiver management. Consider:
- What is your process for matching caregivers to clients?
- What do you look for in a good match between a client and a caregiver?
- Will our caregiver be the same gender as the family member?
- Will we have the same caregiver each visit, or will it change?
- How will management know if the caregiver is showing up and providing the necessary care?
5. Questions About Emergency Care and Caregiver Training
Family members who are talking to you and your agency are concerned about the health status of their loved one, who is often still recovering from a recent illness, fall, or other injury. Given their loved one’s condition, families are often worried about emergencies that could compound their condition, like falls, heart attacks, and other health issues. Affirming how you train your caregivers to handle emergencies, explaining the protocols they follow, and assuring them all caregivers are well-equipped to handle emergency situations can go a long way in calming their fears.
6. Questions About the Care Provided
Know how to explain, in terms anyone could understand, how your agency evaluates each client and determines the level of care they need. How do you know the specific tasks they need from a caregiver? How much of this comes from the client’s or the family’s instructions, and how much is based on your agency’s evaluation? How closely do caregivers work with the client’s other care providers, including home health, physical therapists, and family members? Be prepared to explain your home care agency’s process for developing a unique care plan for each client and putting it into place.
7. Questions About the Specific Care Necessary for Their Loved One
Do you have specific programs for clients who have Alzheimer’s or other types of dementia? Is there a protocol your caregivers follow to ensure clients get the right medication reminders at the right time? Be ready to explain how your caregivers provide the highest level of care, no matter the diagnosis. Reassure them you have many clients with similar health concerns, and your caregivers are well-equipped to provide the care their loved one needs.
8. Questions About Safety and Security
Above all, families want to know their loved ones – and their property – are safe and secure in the hands of your caregivers. Be prepared to reiterate the training and qualifications of your caregivers, and to assure them they’ve all passed background checks. If possible, tell them a little about the caregiver assigned to their case. Problems with safety or security are relatively few and far between, so giving them the numbers may help to assuage their fears.
Make the Decision Easy for Your Potential Clients and Their Families
When a home care agency has no trouble coming up with immediate answers to their questions, it provides a sense of reassurance to a potential client and their family. It portrays a company that is, above all, professional and prepared. While creating a FAQs page on your website and addressing these concerns on your blog or in newsletters is a great idea, most people will want to hear these answers directly from you or your agency. Make sure anyone who provides information about your services to potential clients can answer these questions in a concise – and comforting – way.