With advanced age, mobility and the ability to perform personal care could diminish. Remaining in your own home usually enables you to maintain the most independence and happiness. Instead of pursuing relocation and placement in a facility, it may be possible to hire individuals to come into a residence to offer help.
The services provided by professionals will vary for different agencies. In general, this help can include the following:
– Meal planning, preparation, and clean-up
– Shopping and errands
– Light housekeeping, including laundry and trash
– Pet care
– Personal hygiene
– Administration of medication
– Transportation to appointments and social activities
Determine the Level of Care
People have varying needs, so before proceeding with any hiring decisions, determine how much assistance is necessary. Someone with challenging health or mobility issues may need a higher level of care than someone who just needs a little companionship and help with meal preparation. If the patient will need assistance with administering medication, changing bandages or dressings, performing physical therapy exercises, or monitoring medical equipment, plan to hire home health aides with certification, such as personal care aide or certified nursing assistant. If in-home health assistance is not necessary, a home care aide or personal care aide should suffice.
Choosing an individual or an agency to provide this assistance is an important process.
– Ask family and friends for personal recommendations. Ask a physician for professional recommendations.
– Review qualifications of names and choose three that seem to have the best qualifications and experience in the field of health.
– Make interview appointments with each of the three candidates. Ask about training, experience, and certifications earned. Ask about the hours of availability to ensure that schedules will fit. Request references from each candidate.
– Check credentials and references of each candidate. Local licensing and certification information should be available either online or by calling specific licensing boards. Call each reference to speak with other people who have used this provider. Ask questions about reliability, personality, professionalism, and skills. Ask about the presence of any problems. Take notes to remember every detail of your conversations.
– Have the strongest candidates meet with the patient to ensure that the two parties are compatible. Get input from the patient, if possible, regarding the hiring decision.
– Make the final decision about hiring a professional. If desired, you might make the hiring decision preliminary to ensure that everyone is happy with the decision. In this situation, as long as everyone is happy, the position would become permanent after a week or two.
Monitor the Provider
Even after hiring a professional, it will be important to monitor the situation to ensure that the assistance is appropriate and serving the needs of the patient. Speak with the patient, and ask questions about the aide to learn how the person feels about the care received. Be present when the aide is working to see the assistance firsthand.
With a proactive approach to finding the best assistance, you should be able to maintain independent living for as long as possible.