Regardless of the complexity of your support needs, Assisting Hands starts by listening carefully and developing a detailed plan of care. All elements of the plan are discussed in depth with the client and their family members or legal representatives. Once agreed upon, the chosen caregiver must follow the plan of care thoroughly and provide weekly reports on its execution.
We don’t perform client assessments by telephone. A plan of care’s elaboration requires careful observation of dozens, sometimes hundreds, of elements. It necessarily involves one or more visits by a nurse or another qualified staff member to the intended service site. The assessment visits are fundamental not only to enable our staff to get acquainted with the potential client and his or her needs, but also to interview family members and other healthcare professionals who may be involved in the client’s care. During on-site assessments, we also check factors that may pose safety or injury risks to the client and the caregiver.
In-home interviews with clients and their families contribute to understanding clients’ habits, health needs or physical limitations, and their personality. This information, in turn, is used to select the best-matching professionals from our pool of approved caregivers, taking into account their skill levels, formal certifications, previous experience and personalities.
Why do we insist on personality? Because a good fit is essential. Just imagine two people, usually belonging to two very different age groups, spending together half of their waking time four to six times a week. Now imagine if there is no natural empathy or “chemistry” between them. Not exactly good.
We use our caregivers’ psychological assessments and work records, as well as our staff judgment, to increase the likelihood of good fits. Does it always work? Of course not, but cases of poor fits are rare. When they happen, we intervene to adjust behavior, if possible, or propose other caregivers to the client.
A plan of care is not a static document; it evolves along with our understanding of the client’s needs and his or her own health or behavioral changes over time. Our supervisory visits and interactions with family members or the client’s legal representatives are fundamental to gradually adjust plans of care and the guidelines we provide to caregivers to a client’s shifting needs.