choosing a home care provider

What to Look Out for When Choosing a Home Care Provider

If you too, are looking for in-home health care services options for your loved ones, here is how to choose the right home care provider for you!

by Hannah Grey

Home care services are becoming increasingly common with many seniors today. From the convenience factor to the quality of care, it makes more sense for the elderly to receive the care they need from the comforts of their home, where they would feel most secure and at ease. 

With the pandemic in play, home care seems to be the safer option to lower the possibility of seniors catching the virus as well.

What are Home Care Services? 

Instead of receiving care in a nursing home or assisted-living facility, the concept of home care is about providing personalised assistance and caregiving in the client’s home. Since senior patients have a variety of ever-changing needs that need to be attended to, ranging from activities of daily living (ADLs), rehabilitation therapy, to medical escort and transportation services, having a skilled and dedicated care professional is essential. 

Home care services encompass three main areas: nursing, medical needs, and specialised care. 

Home nursing addresses simple procedures like changing feeding tubes and suctioning as well as more complex ones such as injections and wound care, depending on the client’s needs. With home medical services, the doctors and care team would visit their clients in their homes to assist with comprehensive care assessments, medicine delivery, and minor medical procedures. Moving over to specialised care, it tackles more specific chronic conditions that the seniors may have including dementia, cancer, stroke, diabetes, hypertension and arthritis

Choosing your preferred home care service is no easy task. Not only are you entrusting your elderly loved one’s care needs to someone outside of the family, but you will also be inviting them into your home and personal space. That’s why families need professionals who are highly skilled in this particular expertise.

To help you with this process, here are 8 essential factors you need to consider when looking for the right provider. 

8 things to look out for when choosing a Home Care Service Provider 

1. Credibility 

An essential and non-negotiable condition when looking for the right home care service is trust. With trust, it facilitates better communication between caregivers, patients and their families, leading to improved quality of care. One of the ways trust can be built is through credibility. Think of it this way: you wouldn’t eat at a restaurant that consistently has negative reviews from customers, right? 

Some questions you can ask yourself during the shortlisting process include: 

  • How long have they been in service? 
  • How do they maintain the quality of care for each of their clients? 
  • What are their staff qualifications? 
  • What is their staff recruitment and training process like? 
  • Do they have positive testimonials and feedback from previous clients? 

Aside from performing your due diligence with thorough research and planning, consider asking around as well; a quick recommendation can go a long way. Have any friends or relatives who have previously engaged in home care services? Ask them what their firsthand experience was like and what they would recommend. From their feedback, not only will you have established a list of leads but also know what to steer clear from.

Home Care Solutions At Your Fingertips

 Homage is a home-based care solutions platform connecting professional caregivers with families in Singapore. Be it respite care or long-term care, Homage offers various solutions to help your loved ones recover in the comfort of home.

For more information on Homage services, simply fill up this form to schedule a free consultation with a member of our Care Advisory team.

2. Flexibility

Caring for an elderly loved one can be unpredictable at times, especially for those with chronic conditions. Regardless of how much you plan and prepare, a lot of unexpected things can happen within the day. This is why having a flexible system and schedule that is based around a patient is essential. When searching for the right home care provider, you would want one that is easily contactable and can assist you as and when you need them. 

Consider looking for providers with 24-hour on-call assistance that are accessible at all times in the event of an emergency. Coordinate with your provider on your schedules and ensure that they are flexible enough to cater to your needs at various required locations and times. 

3. Required locations and time 

Singapore may be a small island nation with great connectivity but not all home care services operate nationwide. In some situations, certain agencies may only deliver the needed assistance in selected regions. 

When hiring a care professional to assist your elderly loved one at home, check if your care provider would be able to cater to your schedule and available timings. While some companies may be able to provide ad hoc services as and when you need them, some providers prefer that their clients have regular schedules or specific days for their nurses to come by. 

4. Affordability

One of the biggest reasons why families still have reservations about elderly home care is the costs involved. Compared to day centres and assisted living homes, home care providers are slightly more expensive since care plans are designed specifically for that patient alone. With that, it’s no question why personalised care can be more costly than general elderly care offered in designated facilities. 

However, opting for home care can bring about a variety of benefits that are worth paying for. Families no longer have to worry about caregiver burnout, travelling back and forth, and the consumables and medical equipment involved. On top of that, home care is now more affordable than most people realise thanks to more options and schemes available today. 

Here at Homage, we provide reasonable rates for a variety of home care services, which vary depending on your elderly loved one’s medical condition, reasons for engagement, and care needs. Find out more about our pricing here

5. Quality and Experience

Just like how kopitiams have hygiene ratings that reflect the standards of the establishment, home care service providers have quality indicators as well. These metrics are used to evaluate the overall quality and experience and give potential clients a brief overview of what to expect. 

Here are a few points to consider when evaluating the quality of a home care agency: 

  • Reputation and history 
  • Quality scores and ratings 
  • Certifications and accreditation 
  • Client feedback and recommendation 
  • Patient satisfaction scores 
  • Awards and recognitions 
  • Staff and credentials 

There is a common notion that if an agency is more costly than others, the quality of home care should be top-tier and free from any flaws, and vice versa. Refrain from using the price and rates of a care provider as your basis for their care quality and conduct your due diligence on the matter. 

6. Ease of Bookings

When in dire need of care, the last thing you want is to be inconvenienced by an unresponsive website interface or service hotline that puts you on hold for too long. Making an appointment with your preferred agency should be easy and fuss-free. 

Choose an agency that makes the booking process simple and convenient for you and your family, preferably one with an active email, reachable hotline, or perhaps even a mobile app to make bookings even more uncomplicated. 

Book, Manage, and Pay for Care Seamlessly with Homage's Mobile App

Homage offers a variety of home care packages catered to your needs. Through our mobile app, you can now get qualified, on-demand care from professional caregivers and nurses simply with a touch of a button. Get notified of visit updates, manage your appointments, view care visit summaries and more all in one app!

For more information on Homage services, simply fill up this form to schedule a free consultation with a member of our Care Advisory team.

7. Payment modes 

Knowing your options for paying for home care services is another crucial factor to consider. It’s important to note that all agencies provide different scopes of services as well as payment modes, so there is no one-size-fits-all payment option. Most home care services provide pre-paid packages or pay-as-you-go services. 

Pre-paid packages give families and their elderly loved ones access to a range of services and are often paid for even before the commencement of home care services. If you’re strapped for cash and cannot bear the cost of a prepaid package upfront, you may want to go for a provider with a pay-as-you-go option. This way, you’ll only be paying for the services you need and only when they are provided. 

Some agencies offer subsidies or allow the use of health insurance plans to offset the cost. Be sure to coordinate with your provider to find the options available to you. 

8. Personalised solutions and services 

Hospitals, daycare centres, and nursing homes are usually one’s go-to option. But here’s what they don’t tell you about them. The care provided in these facilities are far more general; with multiple patients to attend to in a day, nurses and care aides would conduct the basic and necessary activities such as nursing, personal care, and medication. On top of that, the patients would be the ones adjusting to the routines and schedules of a care facility rather than the other way around. 

Elderly persons can receive personalised care from the comfort of their homes from qualified professionals with years of expertise in this field. The type of care can also be modified into a customised care plan including only the most essential services you need, ranging from medicine delivery all the way to assistance for activities of daily living (ADLs). 

Since your loved one would be the primary focus of your caregiver, this one-on-one attention can make way for a faster recovery and enhance their quality of life for the elderly. 

Quality care right at your doorstep

Finding the right provider for your senior parent or relative is not a task to be taken lightly. When all is said and done, these professionals are the ones that will care for your elderly loved ones and create an environment in which they can grow older comfortably. 

Make it a priority to find the right match with these essential considerations and give your elderly loved one the gift of quality care right in their home.

Provide the best care to your loved one today!  Fill up the form below for a free consultation with our Care Advisory team. 

Fill out the form below and our Care Advisors will get back to you with care information you need.

In the event that we will need to contact you, please look out for our outgoing number +65 3138 6849.

This number may be flagged as "potential fraud" but please be assured this is the official Homage number that we use to reach out to our customers.










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References
  1. Grey, H. (2021, December 3). Activities of Daily Living (ADL) in Singapore. Homage from https://www.homage.sg/resources/activities-of-daily-living-adl/.
  2. Home therapy. Homage. (2021, August 10) from https://www.homage.sg/services/home-therapy/
About the Writer
Hannah Grey
Hannah is an all-around creative with a flair for travel and photography. She also only has her coffee black, which should be the only way to drink it.
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