3 Family Concerns When Hiring Home Care
Every day across the United States, professional caregivers enter private homes of people who live alone and are unable to take care of themselves, whether they are recovering from illness, injury or require long-term assistance.
These are the people we trust to take care of our aging parents, spouses and loved ones when we can’t be there or when extra help is needed. It is natural to have questions and concerns prior to deciding to hire a professional.
Families may feel some initial anxiety about hiring professional help to care for their loved ones, but ensuring trust and satisfaction upfront can help alleviate this stress. To do this, family members should ask certain questions during the interview process. Background checks and training are both necessary to ensure you and your loved one’s safety and security. Ask for references and be sure to check them.
In addition to background screenings, families should ensure that the potential caregiver is properly trained to deal with their loved one’s specific conditions. Any certification program should abide by the guidelines established by their state’s Department of Health.
Training typically covers a broad range of subjects, including personal care, vital signs, nutrition, sensitivity to other cultures and understanding professional boundaries.
In addition to hiring someone who is properly trained and certified, it’s essential to find someone who is compassionate and caring. Beyond this, there are two other essential components: compatibility and communication.
Some home care companies or agencies will provide you, as a prospective client, with a profile to fill out that outlines exactly what you and your loved one need. Then, a registered nurse should visit the client at their home to develop a customized plan of the services that will address his or her care needs. The agency should also take steps to ensure that their home health aides are carefully matched to fit each client’s unique personality and lifestyle. This process allows everyone to be on the same page and work together as a team to provide the most customized care plan possible.
Once a plan is in place, the communication does not stop there. You should establish and maintain a professional relationship that encourages open lines of communication throughout the course of care. A professional will expect you to establish appropriate boundaries and you will feel much better once you do. If your loved one engages in cultural behaviors or observes certain traditions, it’s important to communicate them early on. Discuss any questions, concerns or issues as soon as they come up.
3. Independence and privacy
The purpose of this care is to create an environment that is conducive to keeping the client safe and independent at home. While the care they provide is undoubtedly vital, the ultimate goal is to have your loved one stay in control of their own day-to-day routine.
Longtime home health aide Jennifer Paul emphasizes being a good listener. She is mindful that the people she cares for are not only physically challenged, but also can feel frustrated or stripped of their independence and privacy.
“When you go into someone’s home, you have to give them a little space,” she explains. “Don’t just take over. Listen, really listen, to what they want.”
If the plan of care says a person should get up at 6:00 a.m., for instance, but he or she really prefers to get up at 8:00 a.m. or 9:00 a.m., talk to the nurse about revisiting the plan of care. “If a patient really doesn’t like something, I try to understand what they’re saying and see if we can’t work accordingly,” says Jennifer.
Most home care professionals derive satisfaction and strength from a job well-done, which is often achieved early in the day.
Caring Connections Senior Care 850-354-5336
From aging care.com