Frequently Asked Questions about our Home Care Services for the Elderly
Below are some common questions about Ready Hands and senior care along with their answers.
What makes Ready Hands different?
We are the only home care company in Northern Virginia that is owned and managed by an Internal Medicine physician. This means we usually have a better understanding of your or your loved one’s needs and can provide safer services. We only hire W-2 employees, not independent contractors. That way we can give them the guidance and supervision they need in order to meet your expectations. We have met the rigorous requirements to become one of the licensed home care agencies in Virginia, offering numerous protections for clients. Ready Hands also does not use an answering service; if you need assistance after hours, you can reach a nurse supervisor or manager directly, 24 hours a day. These are just a few of the ways we set ourselves apart.
Does Medicare cover our services?
No, Medicare only covers the services of skilled home health care agencies providing intermittent visits by nurses and/or therapists, not the services of non-medical home care agencies. In Virginia and nationwide, in order for Medicare to pay for skilled home health care, it must be prescribed by a doctor, usually following a hospital or nursing home stay, and it ends after a few weeks. In contrast, our services do not require a doctor’s order and can continue as long as you choose. Commercial health insurers follow Medicare’s lead and also only cover skilled care. However, long-term care insurance policies do cover our services.
May I choose the Home Care Aide I like?
Yes, we do everything possible to match you with a home caregiver of your choice. We share information with you about available personnel, including their interests, their particular capabilities and work background. We invite you to interview the aide in advance if you wish, at our expense, within our Northern Virginia service area. Your satisfaction with and confidence in your Home Care Aide is important to us. And, since most clients develop ongoing relationships with their home care workers, we want them to be compatible.
May I change Home Care Aides if I'm not satisfied?
Yes. If you find that your Home Care Aide is not meeting your needs, we certainly want to rectify the situation. We will work with you to assign an alternative senior care provider.
Does Ready Hands work collaboratively with other professionals?
Yes. Sometimes clients who need our services also require additional help from home health nurses and/or therapists, hospice personnel, geriatric care managers or other professionals. We collaborate in any way we can so that you get coordinated care. As a longtime provider of home care in Alexandria, Manassas, and the surrounding areas of Northern Virginia, we have worked alongside many of the top professionals in this area. Don’t hesitate to call us and ask about your particular situation.
What geographic areas does Ready Hands serve?
Ready Hands serves Fairfax County, Arlington County, Prince William County and surrounding areas. We offer live in care, senior care, and home care in Alexandria, Manassas, Woodbridge, Alexandria, Fairfax, Arlington, and all other cities throughout Northern Virginia.
What does our free initial consultation entail?
One of our full-time registered nurse supervisors visits each prospective client to learn his or her needs and explain what Ready Hands can offer. We encourage family participation. As part of this visit, they gather important information about the client’s functional status, general health condition and any special needs or circumstances – like special diets, activity precautions, allergies, medication timing etc. That way, when we send a Home Care Aide to your home, you can be confident we have prepared him or her for dealing safely with your particular situation.
Does Ready Hands communicate with family members?
Most definitely. Usually it is a family member who engages us to care for a loved one. But in any case, as long as we have the permission of our client or responsible party, we want to be in touch with family members, whether they live locally in our Northern Virginia home care service area or at a distance. Good communication is at the heart of good service. We encourage involvement of a client’s loved ones in planning our services, and we want to keep them involved on an ongoing basis.
Does Ready Hands provide transportation?
Yes. Home Care Aides may transport clients in an automobile if they have been cleared to drive and have successfully undergone a driving record check. We ask that a client who desires automobile transportation give us written permission to use his or her vehicle. Our employees do not transport clients in their own vehicles. Besides automobile transport, all Ready Hands Home Care Aides will of course accompany clients to appointments or visits via public transportation, taxi or van services.
Is a minimum number of hours required per visit?
Ready Hands asks that clients engage us for visits of at least four hours five days per week. This is a protection for our employees and allows us to attract and retain higher caliber people. It also protects clients from the turnover that can be problematic in home care settings.
Must I give advance notice before discontinuing services?
No. Our Service Agreement asks that you provide reasonable notice if possible, but this is not a requirement. If at any time you are dissatisfied with our home care services and would like to cancel, you may do so immediately with no penalty.
Does Ready Hands require a deposit before scheduling services?
Yes, in order to commit to scheduling services, we request a deposit equal to two weeks of expected charges. Whenever services are terminated for any reason, the deposit is promptly returned, minus any outstanding unpaid balance.