Choosing a caregiver or nursing home for a family member is one of the most difficult decisions in life. It is a stressful, consuming task that is often made worse by the fact that a loved one has suffered a medical crisis. You may face great pressure to arrange care in a very short period of time.
However, the Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman suggests that you take the time to ask questions — and a lot of them. Below are some inquiries you should make to determine whether a caregiver’s services will meet your family’s needs and desires.
Questions To Ask Caregivers
- How long have you been a caregiver?
- Prior to starting your own business, where else did you work (hospital, nursing home, case manager, etc.)?
- Do you like your job? Why?
- Do you have another outside job?
- When you’re gone, who is the substitute caregiver? Can I meet that person? What’s their background?
- Who lives in the house? Family? Other residents?
- What’s a resident’s typical day? When do they eat? What do they sleep?
- What kind of activities do you offer (exercise, gardening, church, outings)?
- Can I see your past Organized Health Care Arrangement (OHCA) annual surveys? (OHCA is a clinically integrated care setting where individuals typically receive health care from more than one health care provider. Members of an OHCA may agree to abide by the terms of a joint notice of privacy practices and to share Protected Health Information (PHI) as necessary to carry out treatment, payment, or operations relating to the OHCA.)
- What have you been cited on in the past (deficiencies)?
- What are you most proud of?
- Are there open visiting hours?
- Do you encourage family support?
- Have you ever met or worked with the Long-Term Care Ombudsman?
- What do you think this job is all about?
- What would past residents say about you?
- Do you have any references I can talk to?
Living in the community is supposed to be less a “medical’ model and more a “psycho-social model.” What does that mean and does that describe your home?
Questions To Ask Yourself
- How home-like does the place appear to you?
- What do you see? What do you smell?
- Do the residents look happy?
- How does the staff interact with the residents?
- Does it feel like a family?
- Are the residents well cared for? Safe?
- Would I want to live here?
For more questions about care homes and other related facilities, please call the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman:
Executive Office on Aging No. 1 Capitol District
250 South Hotel St., Suite 406, Honolulu