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Preparing for a Live In Home Health Aide

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Preparing for a Home Health Aide to live in with an aging parent can be stressful, understanding the process will help ease the burden.

First, you must start the conversation. Many times family and family friends wait until a crisis to talk about preferences and concerns. Having a discussion when signs point to the need for care can make the inevitable less stressful. Remember that many elderly feel that this a turning point in their ability to manage their own life. Being resistant to having a caregiver come live in the home is common. It is also important to involve close family or friends in the discussion so that preferences or differences of opinion can be ironed out before there is a rush to hire a caregiver. Before making a decision, consider the financial ability to pay for care, many people do not know the costs associated with hiring an aide to care for their parent. More importantly, knowing the finances of the person needing care can help make an educated decision regarding the options. Check for insurance policies, if a long term care insurance policy is in place some or all of the caregiver costs may be reimbursed. Make sure to look into any community resources that may help ease the burden on family caregivers. If possible consult a social worker who can objectively look at the needs of the person needing care and make recommendations.

When it’s time to hire a live in caregiver there are some important considerations to make. Using a reputable licensed agency with accreditation will help ensure that the caregiver is background checked and trained properly. Ask if your caregiver is licensed, a certified home health aide has been trained and licensed by the states nursing board.

The live in aide will need a separate private room in the home. If possible it’s optimal to have the aide sleep in a room located close to the patient. Also, inquire about food arrangements for the aide, will you supply food or give a food allowance. Ask how vacation and time off will be handled by the agency, it’s important to have peace of mind regarding scheduling.

A registered nurse will perform a physical assessment as well as a home safety assessment. The assessment will review your parents care needs and abilities. A plan of care will be constructed for the aide to follow. The plan of care includes personal care needs, meal preparation, light housekeeping and other home management. You will be able to review the plan of care with the nurse in order to ensure sure it meets the needs of your parent.

You may request to meet potential caregivers in advance of placement. You want a well-qualified licensed caregiver but you will want to make sure that your parent and caregiver are suited for each other. It is also an opportunity to see how the caregiver interacts with your parent.

Hiring live in care can be a daunting task, knowing steps to take in advance and understanding the process will make the hiring of a live in aide less stressful.

Staff Writer, Deirdre Conboy-Mariotti, RN BSN