In Part 1, we looked at some difficulties with eldercare and how one company, Dial-a-Nurse™, did something about it. Dial-a-Nurse™ has fantastic advice as to how best care for our loved ones.
Dial-a-Nurse™ sets the standard of what to look for in a home nursing service, no matter where you live. Ted listed off a few facts that make his agency stand out from the rest:
- Length of time in business. 35 years and counting in business
- Exceptional applicant screening.Dial-a-Nurse™ thoroughly screens each applicant, far exceeding state guidelines when hiring home health staff. Each applicant must take a physical exam, a drug test, and sit for a written exam.
- Highly educated caregivers.Dial-a-Nurse™ boasts the most well educated caregivers in the country. Now that’s a bold statement. “We provide continuing education courses for our nurses as well as those in each of the 50 states, so they stay up-to-date with their state requirements. Our nurses have full access to our education library. They can view videos and articles on various procedures or protocols whenever needed,” Ted explained.
- Patient education programs. “Our continuing education company, NEVCO, provides patient education programs about dealing with breast cancer, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s disease, women’s issues, and many other common health concerns,” said Ted.
- Award winning service. Dial-a-Nurse received the Best of Naples Award two years in a row.
Why not hire an independent contractor for your home care needs?
After all, independent contractors cost far less than hiring a caregiver from a private agency. As long as you verify the person’s credentials and check references, there shouldn’t be a problem, right? Wrong. “Hiring an independent contractor isn’t a good idea,” warned Ted. “Once you hire them you become liable for them.” Independent contractors are supposed to handle their own taxes, but if they don’t, the person who hired her becomes responsible.
A Vocation Versus a Job
Ted told us a story about one independent contractor who took care of a man’s mother after she suffered a stroke. She provided adequate and loving care, but when the mother died, she filed for unemployment, saying she couldn’t find another job and had a right to these funds. The IRS got wind of this, sued the man who hired the contractor, forcing him to pay back taxes, penalties, fines, and the unemployment.
Another home health aide, caring for a woman’s husband, stole $2,000 worth of jewelry from the client. She was caught only because she made the mistake of pawning the jewels for $160. Still another racked up $30,000 on a client’s credit card.
Keep in mind, these people were qualified, in terms of education and experience, to provide home care. They probably didn’t have criminal records or anything else in their backgrounds that would tip off a potential client hoping to hire them. And, do you really know how to evaluate whether an independent you hire is delivering truly good home health care?
Do you want your loved one cared for by a person who thinks of it as a job, or a person driven by a vocation?
Ted pointed out, “A high quality agency knows what good home health care looks like. It’s their vocation.”
Even if you don’t live in one of the areas in southwest Florida served by Dial-a-Nurse, you can still take certain steps to find high quality private care. Ted suggests these steps:
- Call your state department of public health and ask for all licensed home health agencies
- Find one or more in your area
- Personally visit each one and choose the one that best fits your needs
Whether your loved one needs full-time home health care or you just need temporary help to give your current caregiver (or yourself) a break, a licensed private home health care agency represents your best source of relief.
Contact us if you would like to discuss your financial plan for eldercare.
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Posted on Sun, June 1, 2014