Finding the home care provider best suited for your needs requires research, but it is time well spent. Important factors include the quality of care, availability of needed services, personnel training and expertise, and coverage provided by the payor. Before starting a search, it is important to determine which types of services you need. You may wish to consult with your physician, a hospital discharge planner, or a social service organization, such as an Area Office on Aging, for assistance in evaluating your needs. Once you've completed this assessment, you will be able to identify the type of home care provider most appropriate to assist you.
Fortunately most communities have a variety of providers to choose from. Your physician or hospital discharge planner can help you locate home care providers in your area. Contact your state's departments of health, aging, and social services to obtain a list of licensed agencies. In addition, most state home care and hospice associations maintain directories of existing home care organizations and can assist you in identifying an appropriate provider.
Home care providers also are listed in the yellow pages under "home care," "hospice," or "nurses." If your community has information and referral services available through an Area Agency on Aging or a local chapter of the United Way, check with them. Your place of religious worship may also have information about local home care providers.
You might also wish to refer to information provided by the National Association for Health Care that offers detailed suggestions on finding and choosing a home health care provider.