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Respite Care Vetting Questions

The following checklist is intended to assist with the process of evaluating an organization that provides respite care.

Respite Care Vetting Questions

  • What are the work histories of the caregivers providing the care? Has the company been providing care to the community for more than two or three years?
  • Is there a history of litigation connected to elder abuse or neglect, theft, or misappropriation of property? How many worker’s compensation cases have been filed in the past 5 years…in the past 10 years? It is very important to know of any legal cases involving the business and its employees.
  • There are some companies that have minimal insurance coverage and others that have none at all. What is the company’s recourse in the event of an accident or mishap involving a caregiver? Insurance should include Professional and General Liability, Non-Owned Auto, a Dishonesty Bond, and Worker's Compensation policies.
  • Reputable companies provide a criminal background check on each caregiver and verify this with written reference check reports.
  • Although not a legal requirement for all care organizations, most reputable care organizations have a licensed nurse on staff to assure that proper protocol is being followed in the care of an individual as it interfaces with medical concerns. A trained nurse can help a caregiver identify safety hazards, observe special diets, follow hygiene standards, recognize symptoms, and more.
  • How extensive is the company’s hiring protocol for caregivers? Many companies hire caregivers who have little experience and no credentials. Reputable companies, however, have minimum requirements for years of experience and levels of experience. Additionally, the best companies consider such factors as demeanor and professionalism, eliminating unacceptable workers.
  • This may seem like a basic question, but a necessary one. Not only will this information help you compare services offered by care companies, but it may also provide other useful details. More than likely, a company that sends you detailed, carefully considered information has also gone the extra mile in other aspects of its business.
  • How important is your sense of satisfaction with your caregivers to the agency that sends them? Ask about the company's replacement or guarantee policy concerning its caregivers. If a caregiver is less than acceptable to you for any reason, a good agency will give you as many replacements as needed whenever needed without question.
  • Most agencies have fixed costs to incorporate into their quoted rates. However, not all clients have the same ability to pay. Depending on the amount and type of care you request, the company may be able to negotiate your rates. If affordability is an issue, ask about this possibility. If this is not an option, ask to see written statements explaining all of the agency's costs and payment plan options.
  • Are the company’s customers/patients/clients satisfied with the services they're getting? Ask for testimonials from recent and current clients. Also ask to talk with clients who have had a long history with the care company.
  • Is this a small or large company? It's always a good idea to meet face to face with representatives from the company. Ask about the rate of turnover for all employees within the company. High turnover often equates to poor care.

Verification