Is there a difference in home care companies? You bet!   We would like to offer you a few points that can help you in evaluating the homecare industry and how to determine the important factors that you will want to be aware of prior to making a homecare decision. Below is a sampling of some frequently asked questions. The most common question is: How is Visiting Angels different?

That is a fantastic question, and one that we encourage.

At Visiting Angels, we know that you deserve the absolute best care available. It is for that reason that we are pleased to present you with the following answers regarding how Visiting Angels is a truly unique experience.

Local Ownership / National Presence

Local ownership is very important in that the accountability of day to day operations exists within the office that is servicing your loved one. While this is important, it is equally important to know that there is a national presence to the company that is part of the care team. 

Drug Screening

Visiting Angels reserves the option to drug screen all caregivers prior to being hired and perform random drug screens thereafter.

Background Checks

"Background checks" are standard in the home care industry. What is not standard is going a step beyond and obtaining a national background check. A simple Wisconsin criminal history background check only shows convictions in Wisconsin. For this reason, we perform an extremely comprehensive background check at the national and state level. Amazingly detailed reporting helps us to verify that the individual has a clean criminal background, no matter where the individual has lived.

Select Your Caregiver

When you decide that Visiting Angels is a good fit for your family’s needs, how do you go about matching a caregiver with your loved one? We know that a good caregiver is one of the cornerstones to a successful care relationship. For that reason, we do the following:

  1. We would like to come to meet with you and explore services and understand exactly what we can do to help. This is called a complimentary assessment.
  2. Once we have an understanding of your situation and how we can help, we do everything in our power to make a perfect match with a caregiver of like mind, spirit, experience, personality, etc.
  3. You can then have the option to meet the caregiver and ask them any question you would like to better know that caregiver. After the meeting we would discuss your thoughts and see if the caregiver appears to be a suitable fit for you.
  4. Once we find the perfect caregiver for you, we can start care with your blessing and on your schedule..

Caregiver Screening

When interviewing a caregiver, Visiting Angels believes that to do a thorough job we must approach that individual from several different angles. To be as thorough as possible we do the following:

  1. Computer Test - The potential caregiver is screened with a computer based test and compared to what has been seen as an "ideal caregiver profile". Caregivers are checked for propensity for Good Impression, Hostility, Conscientiousness, Integrity, Substance Abuse, Sexual Harassment and Misuse. While we certainly do not rely on the computer models exclusively, this is another piece of the puzzle to help safeguard your security.

  2. Interview - The potential caregiver is then interviewed by Visiting Angels

  3. Skills Assessment – We assess potential caregiver skills by asking them to tell and in some cases show us what they know about being a caregiver.

  4. Background Checks - Please see above for background checks.

  5. Reference Checks - All references are checked to help validate a caregivers experience from an independent source. We look for 3 positive verifiable references that can give us more than just dates of employment and rehire status.

Employee Training

We offer monthly training sessions for our caregivers to hone their skills, protect themselves and protect you! Hiring "experienced caregivers" is not the same as training experienced caregivers.

Administrative Visits

While we trust that our caregivers are doing a fine job, we want to confirm that through unannounced "Administrative Visits". During the course of these visits we check for the health and well-being of our care recipients, the appropriateness of the level of care provided and how our caregiver is performing under those conditions. You trust us to provide high quality care and we want to meet and exceed those expectations.

Bonding and Insurance

All caregivers are bonded and insured. That being said, what does that mean? Bonding covers what is known as employee dishonesty (theft). Insurance covers general liability above and beyond bonding. It's important to Visiting Angels that if an event happens that requires either of these safety nets, that you are covered.

Employees vs Independent Contractors

There is a tremendous difference between the relationship of an agency with either an employee or an independent contractor. Employees are subject to enforcement of company stated Policy and Procedures, dress codes, drug screening, background checking, scheduling, tax liabilities, workers compensation, etc. Independent contractors are not covered by Workers Compensation, tax liabilities and cannot be required to follow an agency set schedule (your schedule) while performing tasks a specific way. Federal law makes this distinction very clear. For this purpose, it is in your best interest and ours that ALL caregivers have a status of "employee" and not "independent contractor".

Phone Alert System

How do you know that someone is at work when they are supposed to be at work? Visiting Angels has a phone clock in and out system. The caregivers are required to clock in and out from your home phone. We are aware of exactly when a caregiver arrives by that phone call. If the caregiver has not arrived within 10 minutes of a scheduled shift, all Visiting Angels administrative personnel are alerted by email, text message and paging so that proactive measures can be taken to ensure that a visit is not missed.

As you can see, there really is a difference! Collectively, all of these measures allow Visiting Angels to provide superior levels of care. Your satisfaction, health and safety are our top priority.