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Factors to consider when choosing an in-home care provider

Perhaps you're in need of daily living assistance because you're recovering from surgery or an injury and are not yet able to function independently. Maybe you're in excellent health but are concerned about an aging parent who is still capable of carrying out minor tasks but needs assistance for more complicated issues, such as preparing meals or going grocery shopping as well as keeping medications organized and correctly dispensed.

A person might need added support without needing full-out nursing home care. Thankfully, many quality in-home care providers in Illinois can fill the gap and offer much-needed assistance to those who are, for whatever reason, incapable of 100 percent independent living. There are pros and cons to in-home care, including a risk of worker negligence that places a patient at risk for injury.

Questions to ask when scouting your options

It often helps to talk to trusted friends or family members who have used in-home care services. Someone might even be able to recommend a particular company or to advise you to steer clear of an agency that has reportedly provided substandard care in the past. The following list contains factors to consider and inquiry points to address when you are trying to find an in-home care provider who fits your family's needs:

  • Ask a provider official how long the company has been in business and if anyone has ever sued it for negligence.
  • Are you able to obtain literature regarding specific fees, eligibility requirements and funding sources regarding the agency you're considering for care?
  • Does the company you're looking into provide a Patient Bill of Rights?
  • Does the state license the particular facility you're considering?
  • Do you have specific recovery needs, such as physical or occupational therapy, that you want to make sure is offered in an in-home service package?
  • Does the facility send quality of care supervisors on visits to review in-home care services to ensure that workers are following protocol and patients are receiving high-quality care?

You'll also want to learn what type of plan an in-home care provider has in place in case there should be an emergency while a service provider is visiting your home. If the agency in question refuses to provide a list of references that includes local physicians or other community leaders, families who have used their services, or discharge planners who can attest to the quality of care, it is a definite reason to consider other options.

If a problem arises

In-home care provides many benefits, such as allowing a patient to enjoy his or her own familiar surroundings rather than having to adapt to residency in a nursing facility. Not every in-home care worker is good at his or her job, however. If negligence results in injury to you or your loved one, you can immediately report the incident to the proper officials and seek justice in civil court, if warranted.

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