All Home Care is NOT Created Equal

People age 65 and over now make up the majority of the population in the United States. We are living longer and the majority of seniors choose to do so in the comfort of home, also referred to as “Aging in Place”. It comes as no surprise that with the senior market growing, businesses geared to seniors are also on the rise, including tremendous growth in the home care industry. The Wall Street Journal recently reported that the Senior-Care Business Booms for Franchisers (August 10, 2016).

Businesses competing for the same market share often benefits us as consumers by providing us with more options. Home care doesn’t necessarily follow that rule because it’s not truly an “apples to apples” comparison. Massachusetts and the Federal government DO NOT regulate private home care agencies UNLESS the agency has contract(s) with Elder Services. Agencies, including ABC Home Healthcare Professionals that have these contracts undergo extensive licensing inspections by the state to monitor quality and standards of care.  Working with an agency that is also contracted with Elder Services ensures the best quality care for you or your loved one. ABC has contracts with numerous Elder Service agencies throughout Cape Ann and the North Shore, Metro Boston and Merrimack Valley communities.

Another consideration for choosing a home care agency is the number of years they’ve been in business and who manages the organization. An established reputable agency can provide references for the care they’ve provided over the years. For more than a decade, ABC Home Healthcare has helped keep seniors safe at home. As a family owned business, we strive to treat each client as if they were our own family.

How about training and staff management? When you hire someone to provide care for you or your loved one, whether that is home making, assistance with activities of daily living or hospice, having a Registered Nurse supervise the caregiver and oversee the patient’s care plan helps ensure any changes are recognized early and addressed.  At ABC Home Healthcare EVERY new client meets with one of our nurses to develop a plan of care that is unique to the patient.  At that time we work with the client and family to determine the best caregiver for them. In addition, each client is assigned a care coordinator providing them a direct contact for any concerns, scheduling changes or caregiver feedback they wish to express. If a caregiver is unable to make a shift due to vacation or schedule conflict, the care coordinator will work to find a comparable caregiver from our qualified team. Each team member at ABC has access to extensive client focused training including Alzheimer’s, Dementia, and Parkinson’s along with caregiver focused training. ABC Home Healthcare is proud of our team of compassionate caregivers, some who have been with the company since we opened in 2004.

As each situation is different, only you can decide what is right for you and your family.  It’s important to remember that as people continue to live longer our home care needs may change. Consider an agency that can adjust to your changing needs. For more information on choosing a home care agency visit 800ageinfo.com.

Jeannette Sheehan, MS, RN, CS, CCM, Board Certified Family Nurse Practitioner is founder and owner of ABC Home Healthcare Professionals.

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