QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
To expedite things, please give us a call to get all of your questions answered. (240) 560-5905. However, because we also recognize your time is valuable, we have put this list of common questions and answers below to help you out:
WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR HOME CARE SERVICES:
- How Do I Recognize When My Loved One Needs Help?
Obviously there can be clear signs such as your loved one suffering from a fall or other injury, but how can you identify a need for a caregiver in your home before such tragic events occur? Here are a couple signs that we suggest you keep an eye out for so that you can be proactive rather than reactive:
- Forgetting important information like address, phone number or the date
- Falling behind with chores such as laundry, dishes or taking out the trash
- Poor upkeep with grooming, bathing or oral care
- Confusion with nutrition or medications
- More frequent bruising or other signs of loss of balance or mobility
- Forgetting to turn off appliances, which could lead to hazardous situations
- Loss of weight or other signs of malnutrition
- Depression and more frequent mood swings
Whenever you notice signs such as these, we encourage you to discuss your concerns with your family physician.
If you are at all concerned for the wellbeing of your loved one and think that a companion caregiver in the home could provide some comfort, safety and support, give us a call to learn what options you may have. (240) 560-5905
- How Do I Broach This Conversation With My Loved One?
It is always best to be proactive when you start to notice signs that your loved one could benefit from the support of a certified caregiver. The problem with waiting is that you put your loved one at risk and then later have less time to get the best caregiver match possible into your home. These are not issues that will go away with time.
We know these are not always easy conversations to have. To assist you in this process, here are a few things we recommend so that you can have a proactive discussion with your loved one:
- Strength in numbers. Call a family meeting and invite other loved ones into the conversation.
- Involve counselors. Get advice from trusted sources such as physicians, clergy or geriatric care managers.
- Stay Positive. Focus on the issues and not pointing fingers or bringing up outsiders concerns.
- Be Direct. Tell them of the idea to bring in a caregiver and offer to set an appointment.
- Be specific. Describe the tasks and hours that the caregiver would be present. Weigh the alternatives.
- Empower the decision maker. Give your loved one the information and ask them to decide. Don't Parent.
HOW DO WE GET STARTED:
- We Are Ready! How Do We Begin?
First, thank you for considering First Family Home Care. We take our job seriously and are committed to exceeding your every need! Your next step is to give us a call (240) 560-5905 so that we can discuss the needs, routines and preferences of your loved one. We will then schedule a time for our Director of Nursing and a member of our leadership team to meet with you in person at your loved one's home. From there, we will set up a plan of care, a schedule and introduce our recommended caregiver to get your approval.
- How Much Advance Notice Does You Need To Begin Care?
If all that you need is companion care, light housekeeping and help with errands, we can normally get a caregiver to you within a day or two. However, it is always best if we can first set up a time to get to know your loved one and their home on a personal basis. Thus, unless urgency dictates that you get a professional caregiver in your home right away, let's invest the time right now to meet in person so that we can ensure the best fit for your home. Give us a call at (240) 560-5905.
- What Does An Assessment Include? Is There A Charge?
For an assessment, we will schedule a time that works for you to meet at your loved one's home. Our initial assessment is a complimentary gift to you and your loved one. There is no charge. During this, one of our nurses and a member of our leadership team will assess your loved one's home to ensure it is a safe environment. Our nurse will determine their needs and level of care, and a member of our executive team will be evaluating the personality and interest of your loved one to ensure we can recommend the best caregiver match.
- Is An Assessment By A Registered Nurse Necessary?
The step of having a registered nurse come to your home is not necessary if you are just seeking non-medical support. In other words, if you are seeking a companion for your loved one that can help with light housekeeping and errands, then a nurse is not required. That said, if time permits this is an important first step because it helps to ensure we are finding the best caregiver match and a more specific plan of care can be established. To encourage you to take this important first step, we do not charge for the Initial In-home Assessment.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT HOME CARE COMPANY:
- Why Choose First Family Home Care?
We are an established business that is privately owned and locally operated in Montgomery County.
We empower your loved one to continue living in the comfort and dignity of their own home. That continued sense of independence helps your family member to embrace life with a smile.
Our team approach to care is unique and provides consistency in an atmosphere that actively supports the lifestyle and needs of your loved one on a case by case basis. While our caregivers are professionals who will diligently perform all assigned tasks in an orderly and diligent manner, we also pride ourselves on our ability to build a valued relationship with your loved one so that they feel loved and supported.
Lastly, with the rising cost of care outside of the home, we offer a much more affordable solution while providing more personalized care based on your loved one's specific needs.
- What Separates First Family Home Care from the Competition?
Our commitment to professionalism and excellence is guided by two driving principles:
1. One size does not fit all.
We understand that just as your loved one is an individual, so is each caregiver. We take great pride in our ability to find the best caregiver match to enhance your loved one's comfort and sense of wellbeing. We recognize that our caregivers become valued companions and we judge our match success accordingly.
2. Technology is the great equalizer.
We live here, too. Commuting in the DC area is not easy for anyone. We understand that a daily visit to your loved one's home is not always practical. At First Family Home Care, we use today's latest technology to keep you connected and aware of your how you parent is progressing through our daily reporting system.
- What Questions Should I Ask When I Am Trying To Find A Reputable Firm?
Doing the proper level of due diligence in the beginning will save you a lot of time and headaches in the long run. While each company is independent in their own approaches and only as good as their leadership teams, support and the quality of the caregivers they recruit and retain, these things are often hard to determine until you meet them and begin to receive service.
However, there are a few questions you can ask that can help weed out potential headaches. Here they are:
- Are you locally owned and operated?
- Are you a franchisee?
- Do you use Aids or Certified Nursing Assistants?
- Do you employ your staff or are you a referral agency?
- Are your caregivers bonded and insured?
- Do you conduct federal background checks?
- How often do you come back into the home for visits and re-assessments?
- How long is your contract; is there a cancellation fee?
ABOUT FIRST FAMILY HOME CARE SERVICES:
- Is There Someone Available To Assist Me 24 Hours/ 7 Days A Week?
Our Caregivers are available to be retained up to 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including weekends and holidays. We also have administrative and support staff available whenever you need us.
- What Services Do You Perform?
We provide elder care, personal care, homemaking, companionship, transportation and respite care to help elderly and disabled adults who need support in their home or a facility. We also offer support with Alzheimer's, dementia and Parkinson's.
Our care can range from as little as 4 hours per day to 24-hour live-in care, and you are able to change things as the need for such arises. For a more detailed explanation of our care, go to our Services page on this website or give us a call at (240) 560-5905.
- Do The Caregivers Drive?
Yes, If your loved one needs someone to drive them for errands or to accompany them for personal appointments, we will ensure you are delegated a matching caregiver. Based on your needs, we can provide someone to drive your car or we can provide a caregiver who will use their own car for transportation.
- Will The Same Caregiver Come Each Time Service Is Needed?
We will make every effort to schedule the same caregiver to give consistent care. However for more complex cases, we typically try to have at least two rotating caregivers assigned to ensure overlapping coverage. We understand it is more comfortable for your loved one to be around familiar faces that are used to the subtle nuances of care for your loved ones needs, personality and personal interests.
- Can You Assist with Those Diagnosed with Alzheimer's, Dementia & Parkinson's?
Yes. Remaining at home and in the familiar surroundings of loved ones and routines is an important facet of those affected by Alzheimer's, Dementia and Parkinson's disease. Working under the guidance of your family physician, our nurse will set up a specific plan of care to help enable comfort, care and consistency of care in your loved one's home to help manage things in a healthy and loving way. According to the Alzheimer's Association, approximately 70 percent of people living with dementia or cognitive impairment are living at home.
ABOUT FIRST FAMILY HOME CARE CAREGIVERS:
- Do You Employ The Caregivers Or Are They Considered "Independent Contractors"?
Our caregivers are valued employees; not independent contractors. This is an important distinguishing factor because we take on the burden of withholding taxes, FICA, professional liability insurance, unemployment and workers comp insurance. We also bond our staff to ensure your loved one is protected and you do not have to worry about the details.
- How Do You Select Your Caregivers?
We conduct an extensive interview process that is layered through numerous steps to ensure we only hire the highest caliber of caregivers. Interviews are conducted by multiple members of our leadership team. Interviews include role playing, written exams and situational questions and answers. During this, we are also assessing language and communication skills.
Additionally, Applicants must pass Federal background checks, health and drug screening. They must also provide proof of residency, driving record and insurance. We verify previous employment and speak to references.
When interviewing a prospective caregiver, the broad question we ask ourselves is, "would I want this person caring for my mother"?
If selected, the caregiver then reports for extensive training regarding company policy and client procedure.
PAYING FOR HOME CARE SERVICES:
- What type of Insurance can Help Cover My Loved One's Cost of Care?
If your loved one has long-term care insurance and is considered homebound, then this type of coverage can cover the cost of having a caregiver in your home. Private duty services are not covered by Medicare or health insurance, and we do not accept Medicaid. The Veterans Health Administration can also help cover a smaller portion of some costs for veterans; however the dollar amount varies.
Most long-term care insurance providers have a deductible period between 30 to 100 days, which means you are responsible for the first month or more of payments. They also require that your loved one needs assistance with 2 or more “ADLs” (Activities of Daily Living). ADLs include such things as dressing, bathing, grooming, eating, oral care, positioning around the house or assistance in the bathroom.
- Will You Help Me Provide Documentation To My Long Term Care Insurance Company?
Yes. We do all of the work so you don't have to suffer through the headaches. We will send everything to ensure we continue to be within compliance with their requirements; including sending care notes to them every two weeks. We will also advocate by phone on your behalf.
- How Do You Determine Fees?
Fees for Private Duty Care are determined by the type of caregiver assigned, the type of care required and the number of hours the caregiver is needed at your home. You are billed based on the hours of work provided. There is a minimum of 4 hours of work per visit and discounts apply if you desire live-in care.
- How Am I Billed For Services?
If you are a direct payer, or until such time as your Long Term Care Insurance Provider is set up to make payments on your behalf, you will receive an invoice two times per month. The first invoice will be sent on the 16th of the month pertaining to the first 15 days of the month, and the second invoice will be sent on the last day of the month pertaining to last half of the month.
- Is There A Fee If I Want To Cancel My Services?
No. There is no long term contract or obligation to continue to utilize our services for any length of time. By doing this, our company is actively motivate to continue to live up to our commitment of excellence. Simply supply us with 24 hours of notice to make any changes or to cancel services.
- Do Services Cost More For Weekends or Holidays?
Weekends are billed at our normal agreed rate. A small number of annual holidays are billed at 1½ the normal rate.
MY RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES:
- Do I Have to Provide Meal for the Caregiver?
Not unless you sign up to have the caregiver live in the home with you. In such cases, the caregiver is required to stay in the home at all times with your family member.