10 Tips For Choosing the Perfect In-Home Health Care Agency

When caring for your aging parent or loved one becomes overwhelming and you need a break, or when extra help is needed with bathing, feeding, dressing, household duties or if caring for them yourself is just not possible anymore, selecting an in-home health care provider is a good alternative.Proper screening is essential to ensure that the person you choose has, not only the skills to provide excellent care, but also the right personality for the job. Consider these tips and hints and you will find that hiring an in-home heath care provider does not have to be stressful.1. Evaluate Your Loved One’s Needs
While some older adults just need assistance with basic living skills, others have additional health care needs that require a special skill set. Therefore, it is necessary to make a list of all of the duties that an in-home health care professional will need to provide so you can narrow down the list of candidates early on. If you are hiring through an agency, give them as much information from the start so they can match you up with someone who possesses all of knowledge and capabilities to give the best care possible to your loved one.
If your home health care worker will be assisting with bathing or dressing, it is important to discuss this with your loved one to make sure that they are comfortable with the gender of the companion. Women or men may become embarrassed when opposite gendered health care workers assist them with personal care and this may cause bath time to become stressful.2. Speak With Local Experts
Before you go to the yellow pages or check out the classifieds for home heath aids, speak with neighbors, doctors, and elder care providers locally who can give you some recommendations and advice. Find out where other families have found in-home help and have them tell you about their experience. An administrator at a local nursing home may also have some suggestions for you on where to locate the best care giver. Support groups are a wealth of information, as well.3. Create a Job Description
When you are ready to begin speaking with applicants and conducting interviews, start by writing a job description. The job duties can serve as talking points for your interview and also give the applicants a clear picture of what will be required of them.4. Prepare Interview Questions
If you are not experienced at conducting formal interviews, you will benefit greatly by having a prepared list of questions. It will help you stay in control of the interview, not miss any key points, and make the best use of your time. Write it all down.5. Outline an Employment Contract
Even if the person you select comes highly recommended and you and your family really hit it off with them, make sure to remain professional. This includes having them sign a contract that outlines your expectations, their duties, as well as boundaries. You can then refer back to the contract should a situation arise in the future. Often Home Health Agencies prepare the contracts themselves. Be sure to read them carefully and add anything that you wish to be included.6. Personally Screen Candidates
Since the person you hire will be spending time alone with your parent or loved one, it is essential that you approve them yourself. Having an agency just send someone over is not acceptable in this situation. Even if they can paint a picture of a candidate’s qualifications, because the job of health care provider is so intimate, personality is equally as important. If your loved one is able to participate in the interview, that is ideal. Regardless, they should spend some time together to make sure that they click.7. Conduct a Background Check
Do not trust your intuition. When you think that you have found the person you want to hire, do conduct a background check to make sure that the person you hire does not have a questionable past.8. Check References
Even if this is their first job in the field of health care, every applicant should be able to provide references. Ideally, these should come from past employers. Otherwise, professors, internship supervisors, and personal references can also be used.9. Protect Your Home and Family
Since the health care provider you hire will most likely have free access to your home, possessions, and family members, find out if they are bonded. It they are not bonded themselves, find out if the agency that you hired them from is. Remember not to leave credit cards, checkbooks and personal papers in unsecured areas.10. Stay Involved
Your job is not over once the contract is signed and employment has begun. The more of a presence you have in your loved one’s life the better. Even if you can not be there in person, scheduling telephone meetings can let the health care provider know that you are involved and on top of things. Ask for progress reports and find out if there are any difficulties. Since the health care provider is around your loved one the most, they can give you the best information about their physical health as well as their state of mind.One way to stay involved is to use a caregiver’s organizer (which we just happen to offer on our website). The Caregiver’s Companion is an organizational tool that has sections for personal information, family history, medications and side effects, medical appointments, and home health care workers notes. I hate selling, but this IS a very good tool in my opinion.

Home Health Care Employment – 5 Things You Should Know

Home health care workers are people in charge of caring for the sick, disabled and elderly in their communities. The work is usually performed within the homes or residential facilities of the people receiving care. The positions are widely available in every city, town, and suburb around the country. In fact, wherever there are people, home health care workers are and will continue to be in demand.There are a number of reasons that people choose to seek employment in the home health care industry. Some people are attracted by the chance to help others in a very direct, even intimate way. Other health workers like the idea that you can get a well-paying job even without having a high school diploma. And, some like the flexible work hours that the position entails.It is a good thing that many people are interested in working in this industry. The demand for health care workers continues to grow, given that the population continues to age. There will always be elderly people who need care. And, there will always be people who are mentally or physically unable to care for themselves.If you are considering working in this field, here are 5 things you should know:1. Know the difference between home health aides and home care aidesThere are various types of positions within this industry. However, in general terms, the two primary types of jobs you can get are that of home health aide and home (or personal) care aide.Home health aides usually work for certified health agencies that receive government funding and therefore must comply with certain rules in order to continue to receive that funding. These workers are under the management of a nurse or other medical professional, and they provide some limited health services.Meanwhile, home care aides work for various private and public agencies. They are supervised by a social worker or other non-medical managers. While they do receive supervision from time to time, most of the work they perform on a day to day basis is done on their own.2. Understand the benefitsPeople who appreciate flexible, non-standard work hours will often choose this type of position: in fact, you may care for the same person for months or years. But, it is more likely that you will travel around town each day, caring for 2, 3 or more people on any given day. The other, most obvious, benefit is the ability to really make a difference in someone’s life in a way that you cannot do with many other types of jobs.3. Know that this type of work is not for everyoneWorking in this industry can be very physically and mentally demanding. For example, you can find yourself heading home each day with a sore back due to having to lift the person you care for into bed. Also, the people for whom you care may not always be friendly or in a good mood.4. You must receive trainingYou must receive training and pass a test to prove that you are competent to work in this field. Most training is “on the job training” and is conducted by registered nurses or other medical practitioners. Training does not exceed 75 hours in most cases.5. You do not need a high school diploma to get a jobNever got your high school diploma? No worries! Working as a home health aide or home care aide does not require that you have one. Just complete the training and pass the competency test and you will be on your way!If you need a job and have considered working in this industry, make sure you understand the requirements, benefits and difficult parts of this line of work. Armed with the right knowledge, you can make the right decision about whether this is the career for you.