Your mom has been slowly getting weaker over the years. She now uses a cane and needs a helping hand going up and downstairs.
One morning you call her to see how everything is. She doesn’t pick up the phone.
You wait for fifteen minutes and try again. No answer.
You call the neighbor and ask if they can knock on the door.
Five minutes pass.
“No one answered the door. We knocked loudly. The door is locked, so we can’t get in.”
Panicked, you rush in your car and drive to Mom’s house while repeatedly trying to call her.
You arrive inside her home see that mom has fallen and was unable to get up during the night. She is injured, so you call 911.
She entered the hospital with a head contusion.
Fast Response for Emergency In-Home Care Calls
The home care business has one of the fastest turn-around times for helping families in crisis. Of course, some agencies do this better than others.
The story above is an example of a real emergency that our caregivers handled.
We started working with the family the day after the fall when their mom was leaving the hospital. No one in this family was ready for this accident to occur. They didn’t have a plan for what would happen if their mother needed care. Frankly, most families don’t.
As the baby boomer generation becomes the next generation to need senior care, these emergencies become increasingly common. More of their children live out-of-state, which complicates their ability to support aging parents.
Emergencies are why the home care provider you choose to work with must have fast turn-around times. When you need services, you’ll often need them quickly, suddenly, and unexpectedly.
The best in-home care agencies:
- Answer the phone during business hours and even after-hours for emergencies.
- Avoid answering machine services, call directories and automated messages.
- Provide easy, on-call services for after-hours and weekends.
- Respond when you need help, regardless of the time of day, even on holidays.
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How to Track Response Times For Live-In Care Emergencies
The easiest way is to ask the agency themselves. Most will be honest if they can accept cases quickly and efficiently.
One tip to learn if an agency can accept and staff emergency care cases quickly is looking at their website’s staff page. If you see that they have an HR Manager or a Recruiter on staff, they can likely provide immediate services in a crisis. The primary focus of these roles is to recruit, hire, and onboard caregivers.
The more quality caregivers an agency has, the better equipped they are to accept emergency in-home care cases.
It would be the equivalent of a car dealership having limited stock and asking you to wait a few weeks when you’re looking to purchase a car today.
Recruitment and Fast-Turn Around Times
Finding the best emergency home care service
An agency’s greatest asset is its field staff, office support staff, and finally, its leadership.
It is an upside-down pyramid, compared to how other industries work.
High-quality caregivers are the lifeblood of an in-home care agency. If you deal with an agency that doesn’t have a dedicated person to recruiting, vetting, and onboarding caregivers, it might be worth providing feedback or looking elsewhere.
If an agency is not investing the resources into finding new caregivers, they’re likely going to face a few problems:
- They will not have caregivers to cover all available shifts.
- They will retain sub-par caregivers as employees because they can not afford to fire them.
Every staffing company in any industry, including home health care, will run into typical scheduling issues. By no means is it a perfect system. However, having a dedicated HR recruiter shows that the agency invests time and money into continually finding quality caregivers.