4 Criteria to consider when choosing a home care provider
According to the Ministry of Health, Singapore’s population is ageing rapidly, with a projected 1 in 4 Singaporeans being 65 or older by 2030. This phenomenon has led to a sharp increase in demand for in-home healthcare services as an alternative to facility based ones such as nursing homes or hospice care centres. If you too, are looking for in-home health care services options for your loved ones, here are 4 criteria to consider in choosing the right home care provider.
Credibility is one of the most important factors when choosing a home care provider to ensure quality care services. To ensure you get the best care for your loved one, you should look for reliable and dependablehome care platforms that enforce credibility in their healthcare professionals. For example, their nurses should have valid practising certificates with relevant working experiences. These certifications are by regulatory boards that can provide you with some indication of the standard of services provided. For example, Jaga-Me, a home care platform that connects families to nurses, ensure that all their nurses have at least 2 years of experience in institutions, as well as certified from Singapore Nursing Board. If your family member requires medical procedures on top of care services, you will likely prefer a certified professional to be deployed to your home.
Ask your ward nurse or doctor. They know your patient best, and would be able to make a well-informed recommendation to a home care service to support the care needs of your loved one. As healthcare professionals in the field, your nurses and doctors know who are the better providers around, so be sure to ask who they work with most often!
Another way of determining the credibility of a home care provider is to look at online company reviews and testimonials. Nothing beats the personal experiences of other caregivers who have walked in the shoes you are walking in now. The ratings that come from past users can provide you with some insights into the quality of the company’s services. This can help you make a more informed decision on which home care provider is more suitable for you. Furthermore, if the company has coverage in media, or has won any healthcare or service awards, the credibility of the company is much more enforced.
Engaging in health care services for your loved one can be financially taxing on you and your family especially if you require a long term care provider. According to a 2016 Straits Times article, home care services providing personal care range from $22 to $30 an hour. However, home care do bring about benefits that can outweigh the costs. For example relieving you of caregiver burnout, or ensuring that your loved one get the best care possible from professional skilled caregivers. In making your decision, consider the amount of money you are willing and able to fork out for this purpose, and check which organisations can provide you with quality care services at an affordable market rate.
Financial costs may be a barrier for many of you. However, do not let this stop you from finding the best care services for the needs your family member. There are many home care services Singapore that can be both reliable and affordable as well.
Government grants and financial assistance schemes
There are many financial schemes and assistance programmesavailable in Singapore. Find out the different Singapore elderly grants and subsidieshere!
Meeting your needs
If you have never been a caregiver, it may be difficult to understand what services you may need to cater to the needs of your loved one. First, ask yourself what daily activities he/she needs help in, including mobility needs (if applicable), and what medical supervision or procedures are necessary. For example, your diabetic mother with mobility issues needs her medication administered, and an insulin injection when you are at work. You will need someone who you trust to do these when you are out. With your loved one’s needs in mind, check out which agencies or companies offer such services and choose the one you are most comfortable with. Even better, there are home care providers that can assess the needs of the patient and develop a comprehensive care plan dedicated to care for the patient.
Secondly, consider if there are any preferences your loved one has. A common consideration is if your elderly family member speaks only a certain language. You will need a caregiver who is familiar with the language or dialect and can interact well with your loved one. Remember, caregiving is not one way – the recipient has to be receptive of the service provided as well.
Required locations and time
Although Singapore is well-connected, some home care services connect you with their healthcare professionals who may work only in certain regions in Singapore. You may need to check with the home care providers whether you can hire a professional to come to your home at the necessary times, or that they provide home care services island wide. Do remember to plan ahead when you need a healthcare professional at home with your family member, as your home location and requested times may affect if a suitable healthcare professional is available.
Other agencies or companies may prefer that you have a regular schedule for their professionals to drop by, such as a home visit every Monday, rather than providing ad hoc services. Consider your needs carefully in these aspects so as to ensure you find the most suitable home care provider.
All in all, finding a suitable home care provider requires research on your part to find the best provider that match your needs. You must judge for yourself what you need and who provides you the best services for your requirements. Hopefully these 4 criteria provide you enough insights into choosing the most suitable home care provider for your family member.