If a senior in-home care agency doesn't answer these questions...RUN!
“There is no such thing as a dumb question.” -- Said every parent to every kid in the history of the world.
Growing up the son of a Pentecostal Minister, I was schooled early in life the value of asking questions. My father was devout in his beliefs and more than that, he knew WHY he held those beliefs. As I grew into adulthood, the example he forged of never being too afraid of an answer to ask a question, was one of the cornerstones for the type of leader I would become in my career. For me, however, I grew to understand that it wasn’t just about the number of questions – it was about listening to the responses that tells you the most about who is giving the answers.
Recently, a wonderful lady contacted us here at Nobility Home Care, asking about the Non-medical Senior In-Home Care services we offer. She was inquiring for her mother who was 86 years old and suffering from early onset dementia. She asks about rates; she asked about hours; then she paused for a long time and finally said: “Honestly, I don’t know what else…can you tell me what I need to ask?” After 10 minutes of conversing, she finally asked the right question. In an instant, the love she displayed in this moment of transparency, forever altered how I will approach anyone’s request for more information.
For the masses, however, realizing our mental limits is not an event we are winning any gold medals at. In times illness or mental decline (such as Dementia or Parkinson’s) we see our loved one's world become so uncertain; all we can hope for is that we never make them feel uncertain about our ability to support them during this transition from one normal to another. So we do our research; we put in the time; we ask Google or Siri, or the Lawyer two houses down. We still look through a glass darkly, facing the stark reality that we have to have answers for questions we have never imagined needing to ask.
Perhaps that is why a question asked in desperation made such a lasting impression on me. At Nobility Home Care, our purpose is to help Seniors, and Families navigate the turbulent waters of the need for care. We support those recovering from surgery or rehabilitation and specialize in those who have Dementia, Parkinson’s, or other mental and physical disabilities. Each time we perform our free In-Home Care Assessment we help a Senior find a little bit more structure in their ever-evolving world.
No matter what agency or facility you have chosen for care, there are four main questions you need to ask, but more importantly, there are four main answers you need to hear:
1. “Yes, we do honestly care about our clients.”
Asking an agency or facility if they Honestly Care may seem insulting, but the truth is many companies are more concerned with the Contract more than the Connection. That is why we at Nobility Home Care have created our industry-leading Free In-Home Care Assessment. Instead of focusing on the care we can deliver, we help our Seniors understand the care they need – even if that means connecting them to more medically centered company. We didn’t start caring because we started an agency; we started an agency because we cared.
2. “The Care Team we are building is tailored to your individual needs.”
You are unique! Never forget that. You are special and wonderful, and created for greatness; any agency or facility you are considering should believe that to the very core of who they are. If they do, then when you ask them how any potential caregiver is selected they will describe a process where you are the center of each choice made. A team of caregivers can never be stamped to fit everyone, and that is why at Nobility we take the time to hand select each caregiver with each senior. Skill, personality, even background plays a major role in how people can connect. If an agency answers anything different make sure they can find their own way out of your house.
3. “Long-Term Care policies; annuities; VA benefits; and a host of other options are out there to help cover or supplement the cost of care. How about we look over a few options that might be available for you?”
Financial and budget constraints are often the leading cause for someone not receiving the proper care they need. At Nobility, we train each of our Care Consultants on the wide array of available benefits that can either supplement and, in some cases, cover the cost of care required. The goal of an agency or facility shouldn’t be to simply close the deal; they should be focused on how to remove as many areas of stress and obstruction as possible. Before anyone brings out a pen to help you sign, you should find out if they are willing to help you in every area they can.
4. “What we would love to do is plan a time to come by and allow you the opportunity to introduce our care coordinator or the lead caregiver to your loved one as more of a friend than a companion. This way when the care plan is in full effect a stranger doesn’t walk through the door, but instead a trusted friend who knows just what they like.”
When you are trying to find care providers for a parent or loved one, you need to make sure the agency you are entrusting to deliver a service is focused on empowering them to live their life to its fullest potential. At Nobility, we realize that in order for our Senior to thrive we must first build a bridge of trust between them and those who are delivering the care.