Find an Agency You can Trust When Hiring a Home Health Aide

Advocare’s South Florida Provider Network is a consumer-driven, unique and different homecare services model that transforms the experience of finding, screening, and hiring in-home caregivers in South Florida. We have already done the hard work for you, which is finding the best caregivers within area home care agencies. Our service is free, and can help you to find the best possible caregiver for you loved one. The following article offers valuable insight regarding the hiring of home health aides. Enjoy reading, and thanks for visiting.

Reliable home aide can be hard to find

It can be tough to acknowledge that a loved one needs in-home care that family members can’t provide. But finding a qualified paid caregiver may be even tougher.

Consumers who turn to agencies because they assume their health aides and personal care attendants are rigorously screened may be suffering from a false sense of security. In a recent study, researchers from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine (Chicago, IL) found spotty screening, training and supervision practices among these agencies. Many agencies, for example, don’t perform drug screening or even check references before hiring.

Whether hiring in-home help directly or through an agency, you must take it upon yourself to ask detailed questions about caregivers’ background and training.

That’s not always easy, since the need for in-home help may arise without much warning. Sometimes, “people will spend more time researching their cars” than selecting a caregiver, says Dr. Lee Lindquist, associate professor of medicine at the Feinberg School and lead author of the study.

Family members who intend to hire in-home help should start with a clear picture of the type of care that’s needed, such as assistance with bathing and dressing, light housework, and transportation. A checklist such as the “needs assessment worksheet” at http://www.caregiverslibrary.org can help. Using such a list, you can write a job description with the qualifications the caregiver should have, such as a driver’s license and car or the ability to lift the senior.

Next, ask friends or social workers for referrals to agencies or individual caregivers. When weighing an agency against hiring someone directly, consider your budget, time constraints and ability to find substitute care in a pinch.

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