Using the internet to search for home health care services can be trickier than one might think. Finding quality care for your loved ones can be an overwhelming task. The majority of today’s seniors prefer to age independently in their own homes. But what do you do if your aging parents need some in- home care in order to remain at home? Many are turning to the internet to find information. Knowing how to effectively search the internet can save time and increase the likelihood of finding appropriate care for your aging loved ones. Once you’ve searched the internet and found several listings, it’s also important to understand the information you receive. A few tips about searching the internet as well as knowing how to interpret your results can guide your way to finding the best possible home care.
Initially, you will probably start by using a general search engines such as Google or Yahoo. It’s important to be as specific as possible about the type of information you want. For example, if you are looking for home care for someone that needs help around the clock, your keywords could include live-in home care instead of just home care. To further narrow your search, you can add the city and state in which service is required, such as live-in home care Mt. Laurel NJ. Once you’ve chosen your keywords and done a search, you should familiarize yourself with the different results in order to select appropriately.
One way that you may choose to proceed is to contact a home care agency directly. If you chose this option, have your questions ready. You should ask about the areas they provide service, if they accept insurance (if this is necessary for you) and how they screen their caregivers. You should also ask what the cost is and if you have to sign any contracts. Be specific about the type of care that you want for your loved one so that the appropriate caregiver is selected. Make sure that you feel confident about the office staff as well. Are they responsive to your needs?
Directories are another popular search result on the internet. A directory can be a good source of information on home care and other services to seniors. Directories list names, addresses, and telephone numbers of businesses in your area that provide the specific service you included in your search. Knowing how to proceed can be confusing with directories, because they don’t usually include any information on the quality of those services.
There are several internet based referral companies available online. This type of service has you complete a form listing the type of services you are looking for such as home care, assisted living or hospice. After you’ve submitted your request, several companies are then notified and asked to contact you directly. This saves you from having to call several places yourself at a time when you may be overwhelmed with trying to balance your loved ones needs as well as your own. One point that is important to remember with this type of service is that the companies you speak with are paying for the referrals they receive. What this means to you is that each company referred to you was done so because they paid a fee and not necessarily because of the quality or availability of their services. It may also mean that those companies will try a “hard sell” in order to gain your business.
Review sites like CareGrade.com and SeniorsApprove.com have begun to pop up throughout the internet to assist you in making a selection when choosing home care agencies, assisted living facilities, rehab centers, hospice agencies or adult day care centers. These sites offer free reviews to you about a variety of companies that deal directly with seniors. Family caregivers, professionals, and even the seniors themselves can submit a review of a particular company. These sites are useful in narrowing your search because people tend to feel confident trusting the opinions of others who have had dealings with a company they are considering using.
Seeking the assistance of a paid geriatric manager, family advisor or medical advocate can save you time and plenty of leg work when coordinating care for a senior. These professionals have contacts with the senior industry and can make suggestions and referrals on your behalf. This type of service is particularly appealing to family caregivers that don’t live in the same local area as their loved one. Lisa Ciquero, owner of Personally Yours, offers this type of services in south Jersey to seniors and their families. Lisa states her goal is to ensure that “your loved one will never be alone in the time of crisis”. To meet this goal, Lisa and her staff oversee and interact with health care professionals to assure quality services are being rendered in the event of a hospital, rehabilitation, or nursing home confinement.
Whether you chose to search for and select appropriate care for your loved ones on your own or utilize a directory, referral agency, or care manager, it’s important to research your options. There is a wealth of information available that can assist you in feeling confident about your decision in regards to care for your loved ones.