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INDEPENDENT AGING > Home Care > Home Care 5

 How To Change or Choose the Right Home Care Services

Not happy with the home care services you are receiving?

Choosing and receiving home care services can be stressful for some. It is a process that can be invasive because you are opening your home and personal life to strangers. After the initial process of setting up home care services, you should feel content, and relief that you are receiving help in the areas that you need them the most. You should feel comfortable with your home health aide, and the other health care professionals that come visit you.

But what if you don’t? For whatever reason, you have the right to change.

The worst thing that you can do is NOT express your concerns to the health care organization. A fear of rejection or getting someone in trouble, often keeps clients from sharing their true feelings.

Who do you talk to?

Upon start of care from a home care agency – you should receive information on who to contact with questions and concerns. You should receive the name of the Nurse Case Manager assigned to you (sometimes called Clinical Manager). The Nurse Case Manager is in charge of all of the other health care workers that are assigned to you. . If you are receiving only therapy services (physical, occupational or speech), then you will want to speak to the director of therapy. They are in charge of the therapists that are assigned to you.

Either via telephone or face-to-face, discuss your concerns with him/her. It is their responsibility to adhere to your requests, to the best of their ability, and to make you feel comfortable and happy.

If you do not feel satisfied with the home care agency after discussing your concerns, contact your Doctor’s office to request a referral to another home care agency. To avoid a lapse in services, the transition from one home care agency to another should occur within a few days.

If the home care agency is a private pay agency, you will want to know what their cancellation policy is. Make sure that you adhere to their cancellation policy so not to incur any additional charges. Contact another agency prior to the end of service from your current agency, so not to have a lapse in coverage.  Contact your local senior center, and ask your Doctor’s office for suggestions on other private pay agencies.

Remember you have rights. Whether you are receiving Medicare, Medicaid, private pay or private insurance – YOU are the consumer.

Never be fearful of speaking out. The Agency you are working with should make every reasonable effort to comply with your requests and make the necessary changes and adjustments for your satisfaction. If they cannot, they should tell you within a timely manner and assist you with transferring to another agency.

So speak up. You are the consumer! Chances are, the agency will be happy that you expressed your feelings and that they have the opportunity to rectify any problems and provide you with the quality service that you deserve.