Preparing for Non-Medical Home Health Care Options, by Regina Ralston, M.Ed.

One of the issues facing caregivers is how to be open to asking for help when you need it.  That help can come in the form of family, friends, neighbors, professionals, and others.  Have you ever considered non-medical home health care options?  You and your loved ones can be greatly benefited by having a person come into your home to assist you with meals, laundry, bathing, or just being a companion.  But how do you choose a home health aide?  You have to pay attention when you are interviewing home care agencies and individuals.  Be aware that professional home care companies should be insuring their employees who come into your home.  Be sure to include this as one of your interview questions: is the person coming into your home covered by the company’s insurance?  Once that has been established, there are other questions you might consider asking.  Here is a small list:
          1.  How does the home care company find their employees and what are their hiring criteria?
          2.  Does the company do background checks and/or drug screening?
          3.  Are the aides certified in CPR or other health training?  You especially want to know if the health aide understands how to deal with Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s if that is what your loved one has.
          4.  Can the aide help with lifting and transfers if necessary?  Can they help with bathing, dressing and toileting? 
          5.  How is the aide assessed by the company?
          6.  What happens when the regularly assigned aide cannot come to work on a particular day?
          7.  What happens if you are not satisfied with the care the aide is giving your loved one?  Can that aide be easily replaced?
          8.  How does the agency evaluate the quality of the home care the aide is giving?
          9.  Is there a supervisor assigned to an aide, and how is the aide supervised?
          I am sure you can come up with more questions.  Write them down and be sure to ask them of the agency when you are interviewing to see which agency suits your needs best.  Do your homework, and that will greatly assist you in your decision making.  Consider extra help over the holidays when there can be more events and even stressors for you. 

Please have a happy holiday season and enjoy these special days!


This article was written by Regina Ralston, M.Ed., from About Seniors Eldercare Placement Consultants, and is adapted and reposted here by permission.