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Arizona Non Medical In Home Care Association

Founding Member In Good Standing Achieving Arizona’s Highest Standards of Ethics and Service

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1) Is the company licensed?

■  DON’T BE MISLEAD, in Arizona there are no laws that govern Non- Medical Home Care Companies.  Unfortunately, some non-medical homecare companies have Stressed Ladybeen known to advertise they are licensed.  If a non-medical agency implies they are licensed, they are making statements which manipulate the truth.

■  To the untrained consumer this would imply the companies polices and practices are reviewed by a department of licensing like nurses, attorney’s and even beauticians are.  It is important for Arizona consumers to know the FACT is Non-Medical Homecare Companies can only carry a business license.  (Put simply anyone can get that)

■  When you are told a non-medical homecare company is licensed, be leery and ask 1) If their license is governed by non-medical standards and practices or is just a business license.  2)  Ask to see a current copy of the license.  If you are searching for out of state services check with your local Department of Health Services.  [This information can be confirmed by the Arizona Non-Medical Homecare Assoc., “AzNHA”, www.aznha.org,(602)283-3503]

2) It is not enough to just ask the company , “Are you bonded and insured?”

■  Remember without a governing regulating agency the company can be misleading.  Does their bonding and insurances cover the worker in the home or just the owners of the company?  If it only covers the owners you are at high risk.  Only trust a company that will gladly show you proof they are bonded and insured and with what amount of coverage.

3) Are they a member, in good standing, with Arizona Non-Medical Homecare Association?

■  It is strongly recommended that you NEVER do business with a Arizona company that is not a member with this association.  The AzNHA is a local association fighting to improve standards for consumers and as senior advocates they have high standards and restrictions for companies who can become members.  Also, AzNHA continues to review that companies consistently remain in good standing.

4) Are they a member with the Better Business Bureau?  Do they have complaints?

■  There is no perfect company out there.  It is more about how that company responds to your needs and how they resolve issues, when they arise.  Be cautious of any company that says they never experience problems.  In homecare you are working with people and the reality is people are and life is, unpredictable.

■  Find the A-F rating, and if they have complaints how they were resolved.  [Available online at www.bbb.com or by calling 1-877-291-6222]

5) Check their history, reviews and/or ask for references?

■  Search online for complaints using the companies name and the word complaints.  Social media is on the rise.  If Facebook were a country  it would be the world’s 3rd largest.  Read the company’s reviews.  You can also ask the reviewers questions.

■  Ask the company for references.  (How quickly do they provide them?)

6) To what extent do they screen their employees? Are they employees or subcontractors?

■  Homecare companies are service companies.  It is not like going to a grocery store and having a good cashier.  These are people who will be in your home OR your parents home.  People who will learn a lot about    you, your parents and their habits.  This question is very important to ask.

■  Is the company proactive and thorough in the hiring and screening process.  Do not be afraid to ask them how many pages, their application is?  How much time is spent with the employee before they are eligible to enter your home?  What are the minimum requirements and training each employee must have?  Are the

employees encouraged to continue their education.  What benefits are available to the employees?  The more requirements, benefits and training the company has will help ensure higher standards, low turn over, and an educated employee.

■  Providing employment for employees requires the company to withhold federal and state taxes and con- tribute to the employees Medicare and Social Security.  Companies using independent contractors or 1099 staff are not required to withhold any taxes.  Sub contractor staff are privately responsible for taxes, and if they don’t pay their taxes, YOU can be responsible for taxes, fees and possible fines later.

7) How available is the office or coordinating staff to you, in case of emergencies? 

■  For example, it is 2:00 am and you just received a concerning call from your Mom.  Your Mom is usually very independent, but you are out of town.  How is the company going to help you in this scenario?  How many coordinators are available if there is an emergency?  Did the office staff answer when you called or did you have to leave a message?  How long did it take them to respond?  Can you visit their office?  Is the staff friendly, professional and knowledgeable?

8) What are the services they provide and/or do not provide?

■  When hiring help at home, it is important to make sure your needs are included with the service.  It is also important to know if they help the family or just the Client.  What if your parents live together, Mom is very independent but Dad needs a lot of help.  When you hire the agency will they prepare meals for Mom and Dad, do laundry for Mom and Dad?  Will they tell you, you need (2) two Caregivers if Mom gets sick , too?

9) How does the company make sure your parents are being taken care of? 

■  Care plans should be customized to you and your parents needs to ensure good service and encourage    independence.  (Yes your needs too) Caregivers should be required to take daily notes that are reviewed to track your parents progress, tract concerns that should be reported to the physician, or Caregiver stress.  (Remember this is a people business, sometimes there is a lot to manage).

■  Do they do a Meet & Greet? Meet & Greets are essential to make your parents and the Caregiver comfortable and make the transition when a Caregiver starts.  A office coordinator should be familiar with you and your parents needs in case of an emergency OR when a backup employee is needed quickly.

10)  Ask how the company is different?

■  A great homecare company should be able to articulate to you why they are the best match and choice for you and your family.  You will find they all say the same thing.  In AZ, there are over 400 companies to choose from.  Don’t buy into the fluff.  If they are the best company then they can prove it.  What you will hear:  We are Rated #1 is senior care (By who?), We Care, We are the best…, Quality Caregivers, Compassionate Caregivers, Provide Peace of Mind, Professional (I HOPE SO), Outstanding Customer Service, Trustworthy (I REALLY HOPE SO)… Don’t just take their word for it.     Ask for proof of it!

 

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