7 Tips for Hiring the Right Home Health Aide
It’s important to hire the right home health aide. According to the U.S Census Bureau, the number of senior citizens or older adults is expected to grow to 94.7 million by 2060. With several seniors now preferring to age in their homes instead of nursing facilities, the demand for in-home health aides will also increase.
Caregiving can take a toll on family members. To ensure that your loved one has the help they need to handle tasks of daily living while at home, it may be ideal to hire the right home health aide to help them stay safe and healthy.
However, with several home health agencies to choose from, finding the right caregiver might be challenging.
To help you navigate the process and choose the right home health aide for your loved one, here are a few tips that you should consider.
1. Define Your Needs
The first and crucial step towards finding the right care is determining what you want from their person.
Depending on your living situation or health condition, your needs can range from help with daily hygiene and dressing to help with some light housekeeping such as dusting to help in taking medication and more.
You can also talk to your primary care physician to help determine the services you need from the aide. You must consider any special care needs such as disability, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s, or dementia. Such seniors may require a caregiver with specialized skills and experience.
You should also determine whether the in-house care option is a short or long-term solution. This will help you as your budget for the care, and the care provider will also understand the circumstances of their contract.
2. Consider Hiring from an Agency
While you can hire an independent caregiver, it may be better to hire from home health agencies. Though you may pay less when you hire an independent home health aide, they mostly help with the activities of daily living.
If you need one with training in medical tasks for specialized care, you may have to pay more according to the skills you require. Several home care agencies are licensed and Medicare-certified.
They meet federal guidelines, and this ensures they will provide you with quality services.
Agencies provide various services, including basic non-medical care services to in-home skilled nursing care services. Regardless of your needs, you can be sure to find the right aide under one roof.
Hiring from an agency will not only give you a vetted and professional home health aide, but you will also have a backup caregiver in case of any emergency with your scheduled or regular caregiver.
If you have no references, don’t know how to hire someone, or you do not have time to interview various home health aides, use an agency.
3. Schedule Interviews
Whether you have placed an ad, got a referral from a friend, or are hiring from an agency, an interview is an essential part of the hiring process.
Once you have received applications or contacts of various caregivers, you need to set aside a day for an interview.
Interacting with the in-house aide before hiring them will help you determine if they are the right fit. Ensure that they also meet the person they will be spending a lot of time with to know if they can get along well.
Have a list of questions you need to ask, including specific questions according to your specialized needs.
4. Do a Background Check When Hiring Home Health Aide
Your caregiver will have access to your home regularly and spend a lot of time in it. This means that you should be able to trust them. To ensure the safety of your home, loved one, and possessions, you must do a background check. This is even more crucial if you are hiring an individual.
A background check will give you more information about the person you allow in your home and give you peace of mind.
If you are hiring from an agency, you can check reviews about them online to determine if they are the right fit. You can work with a private investigator or an agency that can help you run a background check.
Since agencies do background checks on their staff, ask them to provide you with a copy of the caregiver’s background check. Get a comprehensive background check that includes any convictions, warnings, arrests, or other criminal activities.
5. Discuss Your Expectations
You must table and outline what you expect from a home health aide. Having a clear plan will protect both the person that needs care and the caregiver. It will help establish clear parameters and promote respect.
You can download a Complete Care Form from the CDC to guide you in your plan of care.
Your expectations can include an outline of daily duties and the goals you expect the person being cared for to achieve, such as more interaction with others, daily walks, eating better, and more.
Review the plan with the caregiver and address any concerns they may have before hiring them.
6. Understand the Cost
The cost of home health care services varies depending on the services you need and where you live. You can expect to pay anywhere from $25 to $35 an hour.
If you need round-the-clock care, you can work with an individual that offers a daily rate instead.
It is important to note that Medicare only pays for in-home health care for seniors under special conditions. Whether you are using an agency or an individual, know what is included under Medicare and budget for what is not covered.
Understand the billing cycle of the care provider and the best mode of payment. Get to know any other charges they have, including penalties for late payments to avoid misunderstand or disruption of services.
7. Sign a Contract
If you are an independent caregiver, you need to prepare a contract and ensure that all relevant parties sign it.
The contract should include work hours, compensation, vacation, duties, grounds of termination, and any other agreed-upon details.
Avoid working with caregivers who refuse to sign contracts or fail to provide the details you need. If you are working with an agency, review the contract they provide, ask questions, and seek clarification before signing it.
Choose the Best In-Home Care Services
Hiring a home health aide can be a stressful process. We hope that these tips will help you get the best fit for you or your loved one.
It is vital to patiently go through the hiring process and vet the person or agency you want to work with.
Are you looking for an in-house caregiver? With a five-star patient home healthcare rating, Med1Care will offer you the right services you need. For quality services and care, get in touch with us today.