Using a Home Care agency vs. hiring a private caregiver - what’s the difference? +

There are many good reasons why you should use a home care agency for your home care needs, as opposed to hiring private caregiver(s). Consider the following:

  • Hearts of Gold Caregivers hires caregivers directly, which means we do a thorough job of screening applicants before they are hired, including criminal background checks and drug screening.
  • All of our caregivers are well trained. We only place caregivers into positions that they are competent to perform. If a caregiver is lacking the knowledge / skills for a particular task, we make sure that they receive specific, extra training.
  • As the caregivers are employed by Hearts of Gold Caregivers, we are responsible for ensuring that all federal and State tax obligations are paid. Private caregivers may tell you not to worry, that they pay for everything. But the fact is, if you privately employ someone and pay them more than $1,000 per calendar quarter then you are obliged to pay unemployment insurance and employment taxes. For more information on your obligations as a Domestic Employer, click here.
  • Hearts of Gold Caregivers is insured, bonded, and we pay for Workers Compensation insurance. What insurance does your independent caregiver have, and what are your responsibilities as his/her employer?
  • If for some reason you don’t get along with your caregiver, it is our responsibility to replace the caregiver with someone else. Will you be able to handle an awkward situation if you don’t like your independent caregiver?
  • If your caregiver calls in sick, we will have a replacement fill her post until she is well and can return to work again. Who will cover for your independent caregiver?
  • If your needs require a team of caregivers, we manage their schedules so that you can relax and enjoy quality time without the worries of playing the “boss” role. Leave that to us!

What are your rates and minimum hour requirements? +

The cost for home care varies depending on the unique needs of each client. Different levels of care have different costs. Our prices are competitive with other home care agencies.

Generally, we have a 2 hour minimum per visit, 3 hours for client’s who live further away from Hood River or The Dalles. In some cases, we will allow visits as short as 1 hour.

Give us a call to discuss your particular circumstances and needs.

Who pays the caregiver? Do I pay them or does Hearts of Gold Caregivers pay them? +

We take the worry out of paying the caregivers and dealing with all the taxes, liabilities, and other obligations. Hearts of Gold Caregivers will send you an invoice twice a month (after the 15th and end of the month) for services received during the prior two weeks. You will never have to talk to your caregiver about money.

What happens if my caregiver becomes ill or has an emergency and can’t make it to my home? +

We have an extensive pool of caregivers on our team who are ready, willing, and able to be available in case your caregiver calls in sick or if she has an emergency.

Will I always have the same caregiver? +

We understand the need for continuity and the comfort that comes with routine and familiarity. Therefore, we aim to schedule the same caregiver to visit your home for every shift. If your needs exceed our ability to schedule the same caregiver for every shift, then we will need to introduce additional caregivers. In this event, we try to keep the number of caregivers coming into your home to a minimum to keep the disruption down and your comfort up.

What types of background checks and screening do you do? +

At Hearts of Gold Caregivers, we have a thorough screening procedure for our employment process. This includes:

  • National criminal background checks through a NAPBS® accredited vendor
  • Drug screening
  • Reference checks with personal and professional contacts
  • Previous employer checks
  • Face-to-face interviews with two Hearts of Gold Caregivers supervisors
  • DMV records check

    Are your caregivers bonded and insured? +

Yes, absolutely, through the company.

How do you train your caregivers? +

Even before new caregivers are allowed through the door of a client’s home, they must complete Hearts of Gold Caregivers’ Orientation and Initial Training (18 hrs of online training). This orientation and training covers our policy and procedures, basic caregiving tasks, how to understand client service plans, how to document in the client’s chart, and much more. This gives our caregivers a solid base to start their career as a caregiver.

Within the first 2 weeks of employment, the caregivers are required to participate in a personal care practicum lead by our RN to learn techniques for the “hands-on” care such as assisting with dressing, bathing, etc. Additionally, the caregivers will have taken training on medication services and will have also participated in the medication practicum by our RN to ensure their competency with handling and administering medications.

How do you select your Caregivers? +

Caregiver selection is at the very root of what we do. It is essential that we get it right because the care of our clients is priority number one. Our caregivers must demonstrate a high degree of integrity, genuine compassion, strong work ethic and well, quite simply they need to have a heart of gold. When we consider hiring someone, we ask ourselves – Is this someone I would trust with my own mother’s care?

There’s a lot behind that seemingly very simple question. And it is through our rigorous selection and hiring process that we feel confident to answer “Yes” to that question for every one of the caregivers we bring on board. The process of hiring a caregiver follows a very specific set of steps:

  • Qualifying job application forms
  • Initial phone interview
  • Face-to-Face job interview
  • Reference checks
  • Previous employer checks
  • Criminal background checks
  • Drug screening
  • DMV driving record check Through this multi-step process, we are able to “weed out” those applicants who, for one reason or another, do not meet our high standards. Only the best are selected for our “A” team. Our clients deserve the best, so we do everything we can to deliver.

    What is the process for starting home care services? +

The process is as easy as 1 – 2 – 3.

  1. The first step is to pick up the phone and give us a call (541-387-0207). Tell us about the challenges you are facing, and let’s explore whether home care would be a possible option for your needs. If it is, then we’ll set up an appointment to visit you in your home to discuss matters in more detail.
  2. On the appointment day, a senior member of our management team will visit you and your other family members at your home to evaluate your situation and the needs you have for home care. The process is very thorough and generally takes an hour and sometimes up to two hours to complete the assessment. By the end of the visit, we will have all the information we need to create a clear Service Plan, which will include the days and times for the caregiver visits, the start date, and exactly what the caregiver is expected to do during each visit. There is no charge for this visit, and no obligation if you decide that home care is not for you.
  3. On the agreed start day and time, the senior manager will arrive at your home with your new caregiver, introduce you and review the Service Plan tasks with the caregiver. From then, your caregiver is at your service.

Do you provide service to people living in assisted living facilities and nursing homes? +

Absolutely! Our caregivers commonly work with our clients in assisted-living facilities, nursing homes, and hospitals. If the situation is temporary, we can alter the Service Plan to accommodate the changing needs of our clients.

How do I choose a home care agency? +

There are a lot of things to consider when selecting a home care agency, and the process can be overwhelming. But at the end of the day, what it comes right down to is peace of mind. At Hearts of Gold Caregivers, our focus is on you, building the relationship and the trust. This service was created for you, on your terms, when you need it. It’s about putting you first. Here are some great questions that can help you determine if an agency will put you first:

  • Are your calls always answered by a live person? Or if you must leave a message, is your call returned immediately?
  • Is someone available to you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year?
  • Will the agency share their rates with you freely?
  • How are your caregivers trained?
  • Who will supervise your caregiver and how often will your situation be assessed?
  • How will the agency communicate with family members?
  • Who replaces your regular caregiver if she/he can’t make it?
  • Is the agency locally owned and operated?
  • Is there a written contract that outlines the responsibilities of both you and the agency?

    Mom’s fiercely independent and I know that she’s not going to like the idea of someone coming into her home to help out. What is the best approach to take with her to ease her into the idea of having a caregiver? +

This is a common situation for older folks and their families. The thought of losing independence can be really frightening, and a cause for resistance and anger for many older people. Broaching the subject with an aging loved one is often the biggest step. Acknowledge your mother’s fears about losing her independence. She may not know what home care services are all about, so let her know that home care services are actually designed and tailored to help people maintain their independence so they can stay in their own home for as long as possible. Suggest that you explore the options together. Your mom probably has a lot of concerns (What kind of care do they do? Will I like my caregiver?) Let her know that you’d like to invite an expert in the home care field into her home who can answer all her questions about home care. At Hearts of Gold Caregivers, we have found that the easiest way to deal with most of the concerns your mom may have about home care is to have a face-to-face meeting. By building a meaningful and trusting relationship from the start, your mom will likely start feeling more comfortable about the idea. And although she may not be convinced to accept home care immediately, she will likely be more open to the idea in the future.

Who uses in-home care? +

Generally, home care services are used by seniors. But many others have used our services as well, such as those who are recovering from surgery or an injury. We have also provided assistance for people with disabilities, as well as those who have chronic or terminal illnesses.

What makes Hearts of Gold Caregivers different? +

Our client’s satisfaction is priority number one. No singular element of our business can be considered the key to our good service, but rather the culmination of efforts on the part of the owners, management, support staff and our caregivers. At Hearts of Gold Caregivers, we instill 5 values into the hearts and minds of all of our staff:

  • Professionalism: From the way we handle your first inquiry phone call to Hearts of Gold Caregivers, to the way our caregivers conduct themselves while in your home, we never lose sight that every task concerning you, our client should be treated with utmost professionalism. Allowing one of our caregivers into your home to provide services is a decision that was not reached lightly. We understand that. We want the experience to be as easy, relaxing, and enjoyable as possible.
  • Consistency: Our caregivers are trained to follow what is on each client’s plan of care to ensure that our customers are receiving the care they need. The services we provide are indispensable for many of our customers, enabling them to maintain their independence, their dignity, and remain living in their own home.
  • Integrity: Trust is at the very core of the relationship between our clients and the staff of Hearts of Gold Caregivers. Building that trust starts with the first contact we have with you. We aim to do what is in the best interests of the clients, always.
  • Compassion: Our staff members make a commitment to perform their collective duties with confidence, concern, commitment, cheerfulness, and care. They treat every contact as a friend, every client as family, and perform every task with honor.
  • Quality Trained: We place a high priority on the training of our caregiver staff. We only allow caregivers with the right skill sets to work with our clients.