Added on March 22, 2013 by vicky
We asked you, you told us. Here are the answers to the most important question we asked you in our elder care survey.
Over the past 24 months, Life Force, a provider of live-in caregivers for the elderly, conducted a survey across Eastern Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey. The survey was conducted among 322 professionals in the home health care industry, including social workers (37% of sample), registered nurses (23%), administration (10%), volunteer coordinators (10%), directors of services (9%), and others.
This survey asked respondents questions relevant to the home care industry, particularly the live-in personal care industry. The key question in the survey asked what the top three most important considerations are upon referring a client for live-in personal care.
Below is a breakdown of the survey, as well as how Life Force delivers on each count.
Top 3 Most Important Considerations Upon Referring a Client to Live-In Eldercare Services
It seems logical that cost would come up as the #1 consideration upon referral to a live-in elder care service, with nearly 4 in 10 (38%) mentioning cost/affordability. Live-in care costs have been on the rise and rates can be overwhelming for many patients and their families, making it increasingly more difficult to receive in-home care. Many patients have to go to nursing homes and other facilities out of their homes against their will.
Life Force has been the most competitive live-in caregiver service with its affordable rates. The company lowers live-in care costs by charging by the day and not by the hour. In addition, Life Force ensures that all of its caregivers are bonded and insured; this is built into the cost of Life Force's services, thereby adding value to the rate.
Nearly 3 in 10 (28%) mentioned that the quality of care was important. Quality includes caregiver competency, skills, experience, training, background check, and references. This response shows the importance of having experienced, qualified caregivers administering care to the patients and that an agency must have such quality care in order to obtain referrals.
Life Force delivers on all of these caregiver quality fronts, providing quality care to its live-in clients. Caregivers receive TB screenings, background checks, references, must pass a competency exam and interview (all required by state law), and have a breadth of experience. In addition, Life Force offers its caregivers continuous training courses in the Life Force training facilities.
Reliability came as the third-ranking consideration with 2 in 10 (20%) mentioning it, but it goes hand in hand with quality of care (see above). A quality caregiver who doesn't show up to a case is of no use to an agency or a client. A good home care agency will seek out not only qualified caregivers, but also reliable caregivers.
Life Force ensures that caregivers arrive at their cases on time, and if a problem should occur, the next available caregiver is immediately contacted. The Life Force team is dedicated to ensure that there is always a caregiver on the case. Life Force's broad pool of caregivers enables flexibility and allows for the assignment of qualified and reliable caregivers.
Other interesting findings
Although it did not come up in the top three most important considerations, Availability, which came in fourth (mentioned by 14%), is also important. This is how quickly an agency can place a caregiver to start a case. This happens to be one of Life Force's key strengths. Life Force is accustomed to receiving calls where the caregiver is needed immediately and there is little time for an in-person assessment (usually hospice cases). In these cases, Life Force strives to provide the most qualified caregiver available to start the case immediately.
Interestingly, Reputation/Credibility of the Home Care Agency was only mentioned by 4% of respondents as an important consideration for referral, suggesting that the priority is on the caregiver and the quality/reliability/cost of the care.
The findings in this survey do not come as too much of a surprise, as they are all very important areas of live-in home care. Any good live-in home care agency must possess these very important qualities - affordability, quality of care, and reliability. These are areas of importance for patients and families of patients, along with the professionals referring the agency. Life Force has demonstrated that it has the most competitive rates in the live-in care industry, and that it is committed to quality and reliable care. Life Force has been serving the elderly with compassion since 1989.