Over the last five years a substantial amount of new caregiver referral sites have been appearing on the Internet. Slightly different business models exist among these sites, but they all are trying to provide you with information to use in obtaining a caregiver. Since my leadership experience since 1986 has been in home health care, this article will focus on caregiver referrals for home health care.
Some of the more visible Internet caregiver referral sites with home healthcare offerings include Honor Home Care, Caring.com, HomeCare.com, Care.com, Carelinx.com, APlaceforMom and SeniorAdvisor.com. The focus of this article is not on any particular on-line caregiver referral site; but, rather to provide some helpful information when evaluating the usage of any of them.
The main areas to look at include the referral sites reliability in determining the quality of the listed caregiver and what resources are available to quickly back up or add to an existing caregiver schedule that you have set. One way to start evaluating reliability in determining caregiver quality is to understand the referral sites business model. In other words, how do they make their money. Some sites make money off of commission contracts they have with the companies or people they refer to, so they have an incentive to refer only to those that will pay them for it, which may not be the highest quality choice for you.
What types of due diligence does the referral site conduct before allowing you to consider one of their potential referrals? Most sites claim the caregiver passed a criminal background check; but, what did they all check and what did they considerable acceptable that they may have found? Most sites also claim reference checks were done and some make this information available to you. The biggest challenge to both of these things lies in caregiver dishonesty and/or possible identity theft, where you have someone using some other persons identity. This is something I have increasingly heard of happening in the home health care in the Dallas – Fort Worth Texas area.
I guess we could talk about using lie detector tests and fingerprinting; but, the more practical approach seems to be a thorough and prudent in person interview process, and having a close connection to the local community to gain first hand verification of what the caregiver purports to have had experience with. Unfortunately, this is where most referral sites fall short. Of those that conduct any caregiver interviews at all, virtually none are done in person. Most referral sites have one central operational location, so they will likely not have a local office in your area to get first hand verification of a prospective caregiver’s claims.
One of the biggest claims made on caregiver referral sites that families stake caregiver reliability upon are the reviews posted for a particular caregiver or home health care company on that site. This is a big buyer beware! Ask how the site determines that the reviews were actually done by a verified client of the caregiver or home health care company. When you really dig into what some sites claim as verified reviews, you may find they are really anonymous reviews that could have been posted by anyone. We know for fact that this is the case for at lease one of the aforementioned companies.
No matter how good the caregiver is that you choose, chances are you will at some point need to find a quick back up for him/her. This can be critical for those families that can not do without a caregiver. This is why it is so critical to ensure the source you are using for caregiver referrals can be relied upon to provide a last minute back up caregiver for your set schedule.
Care Mountain provides Dallas, Texas area families with reliable, high quality Dallas -Forth Worth area home health caregivers referrals. Care Mountain conducts on all caregivers nationwide background checks, multiple in person interviews/meetings, uses its exclusive local presence in the Dallas – Fort Worth Metroplex to gain more in-depth verification of caregiver credentials, and provides referred to clients with caregiver references that we have personally verified as having worked with the referred caregiver. Care Mountain is also a very established home care referral agency in the Dallas, Texas area, so we have a vast network of caregivers to best ensure an existing client’s scheduling needs are met. Our zero State complaint history and always North Central Texas Better Business Bureau A+ Rating are evidence of this.
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