The Right Way to Switch Home Care Companies

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In-home care is becoming an increasingly popular option for offering the most freedom and independence to our aging loved ones. This model of health care will play a key role in the coming years as families help seniors to continue living in their own homes instead of moving into long-term care facilities.

It is important to find the right home care company and individual caregivers that are compatible with your loved one. Once you’ve chosen a reputable provider and interviewed prospective caregivers, it can take a few visits for everyone to get comfortable with the new routines and relationships.

If this warming up period passes and you still feel an assigned caregiver is not the best match for you and your family, contact the company’s office and request a new caregiver. Keep in mind that it can take some trial and error to find a compassionate and experienced person who is well-suited for a senior. However, if you are having larger issues with the company as a whole, it may be wise to consider switching to a different provider who is more attentive to clients’ needs.

Finding a New Home Care Company

When searching for a new care provider, it helps to review the basics of what a home care company should offer and what reasonable expectations you should have as a consumer. Understanding all of the specific qualities, policies, and requirements that constitute a high-quality home care company will ensure a better selection this time around.

Read: How to Select a Home Care Company

Before contacting other companies, identify what exactly is missing from the current services that you are receiving. For example, do you need a more experienced caregiver who is trained to handle a specific condition, such as dementia? Are you looking for more consistent communication and attentive care coordination? If possible, consult with your loved one on what they feel is lacking and what changes would make them more comfortable.

Once you have identified the missing elements, be sure to keep them in mind when conducting your research. Use this checklist to vet any new providers you are considering and ensure they meet all of your standards.

Making the Switch

Achieving smooth transitions is a crucial part of modifying a senior’s day-to-day care. Below are some recommended steps for seamlessly changing home care providers.

  • Make sure you understand your contract or agreement with the current company.
  • Familiarize yourself with the company’s policies and procedures for terminating services (how much advance notice is required, fees that may apply, etc.).
  • Give adequate notice to your current provider that you will no longer require their services.
  • Before ending your relationship with the current company, ensure that you have someone lined up to provide care until you find a new provider.

Getting Started with a New Provider

Families should not feel pressured or uncomfortable about switching providers if it is in the best interest of their loved ones. It is important to communicate with the new company about what you and your loved one require and expect. This will help to ensure open dialogue, mutual understanding, and a compatible relationship with both the company and your aide(s) moving forward.

Renata Gelman, RN, B.S.N., is assistant director of clinical services at Partners in Care, an affiliate of the Visiting Nurse Service of New York (VNSNY). In this role, she coordinates patient care and manages a multi-disciplinary team of field nursing and home health care professionals in the clinical area of a VNSNY’s private care division.

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3 Comments

Unfortunately, when working with medicaid, one's options are much more limited. Here in Connecticut there is an Area Agency on Aging program, Homecare for Elders, which helps pay for care and then serves to manage care when a person is on Title 19. I can only get aids from agencies who have a contract with the Area Agency on Aging. These tend not to be the best agencies.
I was just going to comment about giving the previous agency a notice so that they know you won't be needing their services. I also like how you said that you should get things lined up and ready to move to the new health aides before you cancel the services. That will ensure that your loved one doesn't have any time where they are to fend for themselves.
So, why are some home care clients (Medicaid-NYC) blocked when requesting to switch agencies?