Pittsburghers Caring for Pittsburghers
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FREEDOM AT HOME: Question and Answer
How long has Freedom at Home been helping families in the Pittsburgh area?
Freedom at Home’s sister agency, Freedom Home Care has been delivering Medicare-certified medical care since 2008. During that time, Freedom Home Care’s owner and RN noted that many of the company’s patients needed additional non-medical assistance and had been referring those patients to other area non-medical agencies. The decision was made in August 2015 to open Freedom at Home, which would provide current and previous patients—and all other individuals in need—with the care that would make living at home a little easier for the area’s aging population as well as provide peace of mind to the client’s family.
Does Freedom at Home personally interview the caregivers?
Yes. One or two of the managing partners—Marcia, Brian, and Kim—not only personally interview each potential caregiver, but we also run the background checks, schedule the drug screenings, and speak to two references. If we would not place a caregiver with our own family members, we will not hire them to represent the company.
How extensive are Freedom at Home’s criminal and background checks?
All criminal background checks are being processed statewide in PA, as well as in other states in which the potential caregiver has resided.
Does Freedom at Home hire caregivers with felonies and/or misdemeanors? If so, what types of convictions are allowed?
No, we do not hire caregivers with felonies and/or misdemeanors. This ensures that we are sending a caregiver who we are comfortable with to take care of you or your loved one.
How often does Freedom at Home conduct background checks after the caregiver is hired?
Our operating agreement states that we will conduct yearly background checks to ensure that employees are being overseen properly. This simply provides peace of mind to our clients and their families.
Does Freedom at Home drug screen and when?
Freedom at Home requires a pre-employment drug screening for all prospective caregivers and random drug screenings thereafter, both of which are vital to our client’s peace of mind.
Does Freedom at Home pay taxes and are caregivers classified as employees or are they independent contractors?
Freedom at Home does pay taxes and our caregivers are all classified as employees.
Please be warned, though, if you are considering using another company whose caregivers are independent contractors, because then you would be required to pay the matching taxes due to the government.
Does Freedom at Home manage all caregiver-related issues?
Absolutely. The three managing partners—Marcia, Brian, and Kim—handle all of our caregiver-related issues personally.
Which of the following insurance coverage does Freedom at Home have:
Workers' Compensation? Yes
General & Professional Liability? Yes
Freedom at Home fully insures our caregivers so our clients are protected.
Will Freedom at Home provide copies of this aforementioned coverage?
Yes. It is a good business practice to provide proof of all coverage to those choosing to use our services.
How does Freedom at Home train the caregivers?
Caregivers receive one-on-one training and review of the handbook by a PA certified teacher and instruction by our sister agency, Freedom Home Care’s COTA (Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant) on how to properly utilize a hospital bed, wheelchair, transfer board/belt, and Hoyer lift. Each caregiver also watches a training video series and answers related questions, which are reviewed afterward. Additionally, caregivers receive on-going training and updates to their skill set as Freedom at Home deems necessary.
Does Freedom at Home have a professional that monitors the caregivers in the field? How is this done and how often?
Our managing partners make monthly on-site visits and quality-assurance phone calls to monitor caregivers, which ensures that our clients receive consistent on-going care.
How does Freedom at Home know if the caregiver is on time or does not show up?
A clock in/out call system is the best way for us to know that caregivers are where they should be and on time. However, we do understand that not all systems are foolproof, so we provide our contact information to the client who may call us directly so that one of the managing partners can address the issue. Additionally, we require that the caregivers keep track of their hours on a time sheet that the client must sign on the last day of each week. This also ensures you are getting the care for which you are paying.
How are after hours calls handled?
Currently, our business phone is forwarded to a managing partner’s phone after hours and on the weekend, so we are personally accessible to you 24/7.
What happens if my caregiver is sick, on vacation, or I simply do not like him/her?
All that we want is for our client to be happy with the care that s/he receives, therefore, we will send skilled replacements as needed and upon your request.
Does Freedom at Home have different rates for different services?
No. Freedom at Home is one of the few non-medical care services that charges one flat rate for ALL of its services. We realize that having a variety of prices can be confusing, so by charging one flat rate, our clients are less frustrated and more easily able to estimate his/her bill. A price sheet is provided and reviewed during the care consult, but if you would like to know what our flat rate is beforehand, simply call our office at 412-835-HOME (4663).
Does Freedom at Home charge extra for weekends or for holidays?
As mentioned above, Freedom at Home charges a flat rate for all of our services. However, the only time the flat rate differs is during days/times designated as a “holiday.” According to our service agreement, here is our Holiday Rate policy:
If a caregiver is requested to provide service on one of the following days/times, please note that our hourly rate increases to
New Year's Eve*/Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day
Easter, July 4th, Thanksgiving,
* Beginning at 6 PM on Dec. 24th & 31st
Does Freedom at Home work with any other programs such as Long Term Care Insurance, Veterans Programs, or any others?
We are happy to work with you and with the programs your family utilizes, as well as to assist you with the paperwork required. We have a checklist and general information sheet for completing the Aid & Attendance information. Currently, we are also working with the Veterans Administration to be considered a Veterans reference and expert.
How would I get care started with Freedom at Home?
In order to best serve the clients' needs, a free in-home assessment called a Care Consult is scheduled. The Care Consult generally takes place at the location where the care will be provided and with the prospective client and at least one family member who serves as the point of contact.
How does Freedom at Home match a caregiver to my needs?
Essentially, we gather as much information as possible concerning your needs and wants. Our goal is to match our caregiver to client considering both skill set and personality, whether that means utilizing a current caregiver or hiring a caregiver specifically to meet your needs. We strive to provide caregivers who will be timely, kind, compassionate, and dependable!
How much advance notice would Freedom at Home need before care could start?
We should be able to work with you and your family on setting up care as soon as possible, generally within a few days to one week. However, it may take a bit longer depending on your specific level of needs to find a good match for you or your loved one!
Can you provide information in writing regarding Freedom at Home and its fees?
Copies of all documents, including agency policies, are readily available to the client and his/her family.
Would Freedom at Home mind providing customer and/or business references?
Copies of both of these types of references are available to the client and his/her family upon request.