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Mistakes to Avoid and Questions to Ask

Important Questions to Ask When Researching a Home Care Provider:

  • What services can you provide to my loved one?
  • Is there a waitlist or is there a time lag between when I hire your company and when service can start? 
  • Do you have a minimum charge or a minimum number of hours that I must take?
  • Can your services be covered under my insurance policy?
  • How do you hire, train and evaluate your caregivers? What education and experience do they have?
  • Do you have proper insurance for accidents, injuries and medication errors?
  • Who manages the client services and are they nurse?
  • Can I expect consistency in the caregivers I receive?
  • Do you provide service on short notice? Is there an extra charge?
  • Can you provide your services on holidays or after normal business hours?
  • Do you have someone I can call for an emergency, even after-hours?
4 Clarification to Avoid When Choosing Home Care

Often times we forget about the need for home care until an emergency situation arises which calls for sudden
help with loved ones. The majority of the calls we receive at Topnotch Healthcare comes from a family member in a moment of crisis where stress levels are high. This is often the worst time to make a truly informed decision and
gather the information needed. If you are in this moment of crisis, or whether you are planning for the future, please note some of the common mistakes people often make when choosing a home care provider.

Clarification #1: Most Canadians believe that the government will be there to provide all the services they need, after all we have “universal healthcare”. The reality is that there are very little subsidies for home care, and in Ontario, our average client receives under 5 hours a week of subsidized care – not much at all. If you do call the government for some help (Call the Community Care Access Centers), don’t assume that you or your loved one will receive everything you need. Shop around to find out what subsidies are available and if you need more help than what the government provides, work with a home care agency that will customize around your subsidized hours.


Clarification #2: The most challenging issue we see with elderly loved ones is the refusal to accept help. Just because your loved one needs care, doesn’t mean they’ll accept it. If they refuse, don’t make the mistake of giving in to them as their health and well-being could be at risk (i.e. a fall may occur). Talking about in home health care is difficult, but necessary to ensure your loved one’s safety, quality of life and happiness. When considering how to approach the topic of in-home care, keep the following steps in mind: Consider what kinds of services they need first; Observe their routine and see if they have any difficulties with daily tasks; Is the housework getting away from them? Are they starting to forget to turn off the stove after dinner? Is it difficult for them to get dressed in the morning?   


Clarification #3:

Recruiting private caregivers. Private caregivers can be found online through Kijiji or Craigslist, to clarify, you’re not purchasing a device or an equipment– you’re looking for health care for your loved one. Private caregivers are often much less expensive, because they do not pay for things like liability insurance, or worker’s compensation fees. They are likely not as experienced, or trained, and they certainly don’t have supervisors overseeing their level of care. Thousands of documented cases of abuse and theft have been widely shown. Hiring a private caregiver, without proper credentials or background checks, can be unsafe. Without insurance, ongoing training, and supervision, you are taking a gamble with your loved one’s care.


Clarification #4: Many people make a final decision sometimes on price to save money. Remember: Price is only important in the absence of value. There are many things to consider such as proof that high standards are met, or making sure the agency is customer-service oriented and supervised by registered staff. Ever wonder why a service costs less than others? It is likely because less money has gone into building good systems with quality consistent people. The right home care provider will do an in- home visit to assess and develop a defined care plan that meets your medical and care needs, offers choices and meets your budget. Be aware of all the options available to you in order to make the best choice in home care services.

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TopNotch Healthcare Agency is driven by the philosophy of commitment to our patients, leadership and excellence. We understand the unique physical, emotional and spiritual needs of each person.


Canada —320 McCowan Road
Toronto, Ontario – M1J3N2

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