As a rule, the cooperation between the care service and the person in need of care runs smoothly. But what should I do if I, as a customer, am dissatisfied with the service provider I have commissioned?
Plan to get used to it
Those who seek the support of an outpatient care service to care for a relative in need of care at home often experience an exciting time at first. After all, from now on strangers often come into the apartment with whom one might otherwise have nothing to do with. So both sides have to plan for a bit of getting used to. Many initial difficulties often resolve themselves as soon as you get to know each other better.
However, should it be the case that problems do not solve themselves, they may even intensify or there are even new problematic topics, it is important to address this. As a caring relative, you and the person in need of care should not be afraid of negative consequences. Serious care services understand complaints or advice on improving the situation as a valuable contribution to quality assurance.
However, it is important that you think specifically about what exactly is bothering you as a customer of the nursing service. It is important for who you contact with your concerns.
In order to get along with a nursing service as easily as possible, there are a few simple tips:
- If possible, look for a nursing service that suits you. You can find decision-making aids here, for example: Care checklist from the North Rhine-Westphalia consumer center or from GaeLynn Home Care.
- Find out in advance from care insurance funds, care support points or other care advice centers about your rights and obligations in relation to the conclusion of a care contract with a care service.
- Always conclude maintenance contracts in writing.
- Always express dissatisfaction immediately. In this way, many problems can often be eliminated directly.
- Always express dissatisfaction in the right place / with the responsible contact person. In this way the solution to a problem can be worked out more quickly.
Look for solutions
The nursing staff arrive late
If this is just a person who does not stick to the schedule, it makes sense to speak to that person directly. However, if all employees barely manage to be there at the agreed time, it could be an organizational problem. In this case, the management of the nursing service should be addressed and made aware of it. A responsible care service management will take care of the solution of such a problem as soon as possible.
You can’t get along with individual caregivers
Here it is important that you first clarify for yourself why you cannot get along with individual caregivers. Do you fear a lack of professional quality? Do you think, for example, that the caregiver is not doing their job properly or is overwhelmed with certain activities? Or is the person just not sympathetic to you and you cannot build a relationship of trust? Is the person always rude? These are completely different sets of problems, but they all have to be resolved.
If you find a particular caregiver unfriendly, it always makes sense to speak to the person in question early on. However, if this does not help or if you cannot build a relationship of trust, you should ask the nursing management to send another nurse as soon as possible. In doing so, you should insist on receiving a very clear statement about the latest by which date a change in personnel can be expected. If this appointment is too long for you, state this clearly.
If you have the feeling that there are technical problems, this must be addressed and clarified as soon as possible. On the one hand, it is about the health and well-being of the person in need of care. On the other hand, this also affects the care contract that you, or the person in need of care, has made with the care service.
What you are entitled to
Anyone who needs care and hires an outpatient care service is entitled to professionally qualified care. The nursing service also guarantees this entitlement via the so-called supply contract, which it usually has concluded with the nursing care funds. Thus, the nursing service is committed to working according to nationwide uniform quality standards.
In addition to purely care-related aspects, you can also address issues such as unreliability, frequent staff changes or invoices that are opaque to you. Again, these are things that you don’t have to put up with.
Think carefully about a contract termination beforehand
If a conversation with the care service management does not lead to the desired success, or if the care service shows no willingness to deal with your problems at all, you or the person who concluded the care contract is entitled to terminate the care contract without notice. However, this can create a supply gap and should be well prepared. For example, you can contact another nursing service in good time who could continue to provide care.
Pay attention to legal aspects
At this point, it becomes clear that you, as a caring relative, need to know exactly which competencies you are entitled to from a purely legal point of view. This means whether you are legally entitled, for example, to terminate the care contract for the person in need of care. This would be the case if you were the legal guardian for such points.
Support options in the event of problems
It is important that you know where to turn if you have such problems. On the one hand, you have access to the care fund with which the person in need of care is insured. She has a strong interest in ensuring that her policyholders are well looked after. In addition, she is obliged to ensure compliance with the provisions of the supply contract. You can therefore assume that the care fund of the person in need of care will investigate a complaint in the event of specific breaches of contract.
If you do not want to go straight to the long-term care insurance fund, there are other ways to get advice. The municipal care advisory services, the care support points set up in many federal states or the consumer centers can help here. The more independent an advice center is, the more neutral and objective the help you can get there will be.
Coordinate wishes with one another
The use of a nursing service should, as far as possible, be based on the wishes of the person in need of care and the caregiving relatives. Nevertheless, it should never be forgotten that the care services also have to organize their work according to many customer requests. Therefore, the nursing service’s well-discussed and jointly coordinated takeover of care is the best way to get no problems or only small, quickly solvable problems.