When I first tried to find a Health Care Agency I had no idea where to start. The caseworker from the Department of Aging and Disability Services here in Dallas, TX was not allowed to make recommendations and there was no rating system that I could find. I was given a long list of agencies and to my shock (not really) they all had such wonderful and caring names. Many had the word Angel, or Care or Blessing in their name so I just called several and hired the one that sounded the best. I hope that this questionnaire helps you to choose more easily and wisely than I did.
· How long has your agency been in existence?
· How many aides do you currently have?
· What kind of training do your aides receive?
· How long is the training period?
· What criteria do you have for hiring an aide?
· Do you always make sure that your client and the aide speak the same language?
· Do you sit down with your clients and explain to them that you want them to call the agency if they are uncomfortable with or intimidated by the aide?
· Do you do a background check on the aides?
· Are all of your aides here in the United States legally, either as citizens or through a work or student visa?
· Do you personally contact your client if an aide needs to go back to his/her country of origin for an extended period of time?
· Will you advise the client personally if the assigned aide will need to do this before you assign him/her to the client so that he/she can make an informed decision of whether this aide is an appropriate choice?
· It can be quite traumatic for your client to have to train and get used to another aide. That being said, do you make every effort to ensure that this will not happen?
· Has your agency or any of your aides been cited or reported to the state for any wrongdoings, and if so, what was the complaint?
· Do you regularly give random drug tests to your aides?
· Do you make sure that your aides have a yearly physical exam to confirm that they are physically able to do the job?
The most important thing that I have learned along the way thanks to two years in psychotherapy was to realize that I am the boss and the aides worked for me and not to be intimidated or abused in any way shape or form. And that starts from the very beginning when you are looking for an aide. Just be aware of what you need and make that known. I also learned that people can go through up to seven different aides before you can find one that suits your needs and that you are comfortable with. I hope this list helps you.