Can anyone recommend a home care agency they have had good experience with? - AgingCare.com

Can anyone recommend a home care agency they have had good experience with?

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My mom has had a nationally known home helper agency providing her with basic home nonmedical help for the past two years. It started out as roughly 4 hours a day, but advanced to almost continual care in November when she broke her hip. Despite my hands-on involvement, trying to build relationships with staff, and trying to maintain stability with the helpers, it seems to be a revolving door of helpers, which leads to all kinds of unpredictability and inconvenience for my mom - and me! Although tempted to hire someone privately, I prefer to stay with an agency because they can handle payroll, etc., as well as guarantee a "warm body" will show up if the scheduled helper calls in sick. My question: Can anyone recommend an agency they have had good experience with, or am I resigned to the fact that home health care is a low-paying, transient field, that all agencies are scrambling for help, and that I just have to resign myself to the fact that my mom will never have a stable team of helpers?

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It's me again. Sat down last Friday with the client services manager and scheduler to express my concerns and request greater communication. That lasted for about one day. My mom's schedule continues to change, and I am finding out more information from the helpers than the scheduler. So I am resigned to in all likelihood having to make a change. Last call for any other suggestions....
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Oh, I don't really know. I was just conjecturing. Probably shouldn't have even answered. I agree that it's a pain trying to make plans. And our elders do like to be able to see the same faces all the time, so I totally agree with you.
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"Not every day is going to have the same schedule, so you move people around to fill the needs. Maybe an aide says on Tuesday I need off in the afternoon, so they look for a placement for her for the morning hours. Just to keep her working and just to keep the clients needs filled."

OK, that's fine, but why not just put that person in an open slot. What good does it do to schedule her for my mom if she supposedly already has a schedule in place with her regular caregivers? It seems like an awful lot of work for the scheduler to upend multiple schedules just so a caregiver doesn't lose hours. What happened to the client's needs come first? That's what I am paying literally thousands of dollars a month for.
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The reason I can think of to move the aides around in the schedule is for efficiency. Not every day is going to have the same schedule, so you move people around to fill the needs. Maybe an aide says on Tuesday I need off in the afternoon, so they look for a placement for her for the morning hours. Just to keep her working and just to keep the clients needs filled.

We have used Home Instead and been very happy with the aides and with the management. Of course, they are locally owned, so YMMV. We lost two aides to full time positions that we were very happy with, so that was a bummer, but we understood. We used them for companionship/mommysitting and light housekeeping and have not used them for nursing care yet.
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I know exactly what you mean! And once you get accustomed to someone, each new person has to be trained, causing extra stress of the family caregivers.
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Thanks, gladimhere. I will check it out. I don't have a problem with the caregiver calling in sick, going on vacation, needing to change days. But why would a scheduler move everyone around, making the client AND caregiver unhappy and introducing more chaos and instability? Sometimes I am notified of the change, sometimes not. Seriously, I would really like to know why a scheduler would not want to keep a client's schedule intact, barring disaster. Thanks again, everyone.
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We have had very good luck with LivHome which is a franchise as are many of these agencies. So much will depend who is running the outfit where you are located. And moving caregivers around is probably very normal. We saw some of that but the owner was very determined to have the same caregiver for my Mom if at all possible and she was a regular weekly client sam day same time the large majority of the time, I would guess 90% of the time it was the same caregiver.
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Hi, I'm back - I asked the original question. :) Am still with the same agency - has the name "Home" as the first word so maybe you can figure out who. Am researching other places. The problem isn't with the caregivers - they all seem pretty satisfied - but with the agency itself. The scheduler treats the caregivers like chess pieces to be moved on a game board. She is wreaking havoc with my mom's schedule and frustrating both the caregivers and myself to know end. The manager says she is "competent." I am meeting with the manager this afternoon to get her take, express my dissatisfaction, and see what improvements will be made. Otherwise I am planning to walk. Did get a reference to an agency with "Visiting" in the name. Again, I am just looking for feedback, personal experience, etc. Anyone can say anything in a slick brochure....Thanks for the input!
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Visiting Angels
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Thanks Kathy 62 - this is great info. I will check out Griswold. Am familiar with Senior Helpers, but believe it or not, mom seems to do worse with the older helpers - they seem more persnickety and bossy - I actually have to say I kind of agree. She does best with helpers in their 40s-50s - not too young to be disrespectful and flaky (in her mind :)) and not too old to remind her of HER mom! She likes down-to-earth, commonsense, and warm helpers who make her feel "relevant."
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