What to Know About Hiring Home Health Aides
Home health is one of the first steps that family members take when daily assisted living help becomes the primary choice for care giving. There is a wide range of services available for home health care options. One of those options is to hire a home health aide. Though there are several agencies that offer home health aide services those agencies may be too costly for families who are new to assisted living and the financial burdens associated with this type of care. For this reason, many family members decide to hire a private home health aide or care giver to come in a few hours a day or a day or so a week to help ease the burden of home care giving. There are a few things that any family should know before hiring a home health aide.
Home Health Aide versus Experienced Caregiver
There is a huge difference between a certified home health aide and a caregiver. A home health aide has taken a certification course that lasts anywhere from six weeks to six months. This course covers how to take vital signs, give injections, change bandages, and administer oxygen or breathing treatments and how to handle home health equipment that may be required for the patient. This certification means that the health aide is legally certified to handle the special tasks that may be required during a day. If the patient needs assistance with dressing, bathing, eating and mobility then a home health aide may not be what they need. In this case, an experienced caregiver would be a better choice.
A caregiver may have had certification courses in the past but currently is not certified. They can perform housekeeping tasks including cleaning and cooking meals. They are hired when assistance with basic daily needs is necessary and advanced care needs are not required.
Private Home Health Aides
A private home health aide may be a more cost effective solution for a family needing assistance with daily needs and a few minor medical needs. Hiring a private home health aide means that the majority of reference checking and certification checks have to be done by the family member. Though this is possible it is also time consuming. A family member either has to take the time to make phone calls and check references or take the applicant at their word. The family member may also have to assume that there has not been any issue in the past with other patients, in residential communities or with the certification of the home health aide. If there is an issue it may come to late and may put the family member in a situation of having to race to find another caregiver with either more experience, more responsibility or with a solid background. This could, in the end, be a more expensive route.
Home Health Agencies and Home Health Aides
Hiring a home health aide form a home health agency may be more costly in the beginning, however, the benefits are there. Home health agencies must check the background references, employment history and certification standing of each person in their registry. When someone hires a home health aide from an agency the guesswork is virtually removed from the process. They know they will be getting someone who has verified credentials and a verified background. There is also the added bonus of knowing that if there is an issue with the home aide there will not be a mad rush to find a replacement because the agency can have a replacement within a few hours or at the most a day.
Overall, when someone is ready to hire a home health aide it is vital to make sure they know what they are getting into and what they are getting. Knowing what kind of assistance is needed would be the first step in the process. The second step is to ensure they are hiring someone that fits their needs and has a verified background, which will offer safety for the family member and the family.