If you have an elderly parent or loved one who needs more help than you can give, you may need to look into hiring a home health aide to help relieve some of the burden.
Of course, hiring a home health aide is easier said than done. There are a lot of factors you need to take into account to make sure they are properly trained and will provide your loved one with everything they need.
Read on to learn exactly what you should look for when hiring someone to care for your loved one.
Hiring the Right Home Health Aide
When it comes to hiring a home health aide, be sure to look for the following characteristics. They’re all good indicators that you’re bringing on the right person to care for your loved one.
Experience is one of the most important characteristics to look for when hiring a home health aide. This is especially true if your loved one has serious health problems like diabetes or dementia and needs extra care as a result.
Find someone who has experience caring for people with these conditions. Be sure to think about other tasks you’ll need help with, too.
For example, if your loved one will need help with meal preparation, find a home health aide who knows how to cook and is comfortable adjusting recipes to meet specific dietary needs.
Training and Education
It’s also important to make sure your potential caregiver meets the minimum requirements put in place by your state. Find out what training or education they have and make sure all their licenses are up-to-date.
Be sure to ask about additional credentials or training that they’ve obtained on their own, too. It’s always great to find someone who’s willing to go above and beyond to provide better care to the people they’re responsible for.
Compassion and Empathy
Compassion, empathy, and attentiveness are all essential personality traits that a good caregiver must possess.
To find out if your potential home health aide possesses these characteristics, ask them why they got into this profession.
Find out what interests they have, too, and see if they have anything in common with your loved one. Having shared interests can make their time together much more enjoyable, for both your loved one and the caregiver.
Of course, a good caregiver must also be patient. Caring for an elderly individual, especially one who struggles with conditions like dementia or incontinence can be very taxing.
One way to figure out if a candidate is a patient person is to ask them how they handled difficult situations in the past.
Pay attention to what they say when they answer this question, but also take note of how they say it. Is there a certain level of warmth in their answer? Do they seem like they truly cared about the person they’re describing?
Good Communication Skills
Make sure your potential home health aide is a good communicator, too. Pay attention to how they talk to you during the interview. Look at their body language and take note of subtle signs that they may be uncomfortable with a particular aspect of the job.
If you’re impressed with a candidate’s communication skills but want to be absolutely sure they’re a good fit, you might also want to consider having them talk to your loved one or help them with a basic task while you’re present.
Make sure they have a tone and communication style that makes your loved one feel calm and comfortable.
Don’t Forget to Check Their References
Before you offer someone the job, be sure to check all of their references. Even if they seem like a great fit, have all the right personality traits, and have all the necessary qualifications, it’s still worth it to take the time to make sure they truly are who they say they are.
Call their references and find out how they performed in previous positions. It’s also a good idea to ask whether or not their former employer would hire them again and if they would recommend them for this new job.
Questions to Ask a Home Care Agency
A lot of the stress that comes with hiring a home health aide (figuring out pay rates, finding candidates, etc.) can be alleviated if you work with a home care agency to find the right person.
Home care agencies also have minimum qualifications that their aides must meet. This can make it easier for you to choose the right person to help care for your loved one.
However, it’s still important to ask lots of questions when you’re working with an agency to make sure their values align with yours. Some of the most important questions to ask include:
- What specific services do your home health aides offer?
- What eligibility requirements must a patient meet to qualify for your care services?
- What are your fees?
- How long has your agency been providing home care?
- Is your agency Medicare certified?
- Is your agency state licensed?
- Can your agency meet my specific needs (languages, cultural preferences, etc.)
- How do you train and select employees?
- Do you perform background checks before hiring your staff?
- Do you include clients and family members when developing a plan of care?
- Whom can I call if I have questions or complaints?
- How do you resolve problems?
- What is the availability of your caregivers?
Getting clear answers to these questions can help you determine whether or not a particular care agency is right for you and your loved one.
Hire a Home Health Aide Today
Are you in need of a home health aide? Do you live in or around the Fort Myers, Florida area?
If so, contact us at Assisting Hands Home Care today.
We offer a variety of home health services and are dedicated to providing the very best care to your loved one.