Employee Resource Kit

How do I choose quality support services?

Start by talking with friends, neighbors and your local aging program to learn more about services and home health care agencies in your community. Consider using the following questions to guide your search.

  • How long has the agency served your community?
  • Does the agency have a brochure describing services and costs? If so, download it or take it.
  • Is the agency an approved Medicare provider?
  • Is the agency accredited by a national organization certifying the quality of care (such as the Joint Commission for the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations)?
  • Is the agency licensed to practice in Nevada?
  • If so, are they in good standing? Visit http://dpbh.nv.gov/Reg/HealthFacilities/dta/Media/Find_a_Health_Facility/#content to see if an agency has violated any state or federal regulations.
  • Does the agency offer a Bill of Rights that describes the rights and responsibilities of both the agency and the person receiving care?
  • Does the agency prepare a care plan for the patient (with input from the patient, his or her doctor and family members)? Will the agency update the plan as necessary?
  • How closely do supervisors oversee care to ensure quality?
  • Are agency staff members available around the clock, seven days a week, if necessary?
  • Does the agency have a nursing supervisor available for on-call assistance at all time?
  • Whom does the agency call if the home health care worker cannot come when scheduled?
  • How does the agency ensure patient confidentiality?
  • How are agency caregivers hired and trained?
  • How does the agency screen prospective employees?
  • Will the agency provide a list of references for its caregivers?
  • What is the procedure for resolving problems, if they occur? Whom can I call with questions or complaints?
  • Is there a sliding fee schedule based on ability to pay, and is financial assistance available to pay for services?

If you are hiring a home health care agency individually (rather than through an agency), it is even more important to conduct a thorough screening. Interview the potential home health caregiver and request references. Prepare for the interview by making a list of your older adult’s special needs. For example, does your loved one need assistance getting in or out of a wheelchair? If so, the potential caregiver must be able to assist him or her without difficulty.

Whether you arrange for home health care through an agency or hire independent help, plan to spend time preparing the person who will be caring for your loved one. This will require at least a full day before the job formally begins, to discuss all that is involved in your loved one’s daily routine. At a minimum, inform the caregiver (verbally and in writing) about the following things.

  • Health conditions, including illnesses and injuries
  • Signs of an emergency medical situation
  • General likes and dislikes as well as preferences
  • Medication, including how and when each must be taken
  • Need for dentures, eyeglasses, canes, walker, hearing aids, etc.
  • Possible behavior related issues and how to best handle them
  • Mobility issues (trouble walking, getting into or out of a wheelchair, etc.)
  • Allergies, special diets, or other nutrition needs/likes/dislikes or preferences
  • Therapeutic exercises with detailed instructions

Although Nevada requires home health care agencies to carefully screen and conduct criminal background checks on their staff, local regulations may vary. Therefore, before contacting a home health care agency, we recommend calling your local area agency on aging or department of public health to learn about laws that apply in your community.

How do I find respite services

Respite care offers families a break from day-to-day responsibilities of caring for their loved ones. Respite can be provided in the family home, in a provider's home, at a recreation program, or community agency. All providers must initially complete vendor registration process before services can be provided and reimbursed. Respite funding eligibility is based on established income guidelines.

Visit the ADRC Resource page to find an ADRC near you to provide more information about respite services in your community.

Additional Resources

The State of Nevada Department of Administration, Human Resource Management Division offers an Employee Assistance Program (EAP). One of the areas of assistance offered is help finding elder care. Please visit Employee Assistance Program for more information regarding how to contact the EAP for additional help if needed. Not all services offered by the EAP are provided free of charge.

  • Eldercare Locator: provides links to community services by location or health need (e.g., Alzheimer’s, adult day care, caregiver issues, etc.). Additionally, links to documents as well as other websites are provided at this hub of information.
  • AARP Caregiving Resource Center: Long Term Care Calculator, Compare Costs, Types of Service in Your Area

National Help Lines for information on end-of-life care issues, advanced directives and help locating hospice care:

  • 1.800.658.8898
  • 1.877.658.8896 (Spanish Language)