The challenge with homecare health is finding a suitable caring professional that is also affordable. When all is well, it’s easy to overlook and underestimate the value of a good healthcare insurance policy but whatever your financial situation with regard to accessing this care, here are some principles on how to approach finding a caregiver.
These principles are universal, in that they are applicable to finding caregivers for younger adults just as much as they are for older adults.
You’ll need to establish the prospective carer suitability on a number of levels. This can be broken down into the following areas:
1. Safety and Security
3. Care and Compassion
4. Specialist Medical Expertise
5. A Good Fit
SAFETY & SECURITY
Whilst the majority of caring professionals are trustworthy, there are a number of horror stories where carers take advantage of vulnerable patients, particularly the elderly, in the context of financial gain and manipulation. Safety and Security is understandably one of the main priorities that will first need to be established.
Are the prospective carers trustworthy? Have they been fully vetted? Do they have contactable references from previous patients (or the family of previous patients)? Have they undertaken a criminal records check? What is the recruitment procedure?
Reliability and consistency are both critical when it comes to home healthcare. Not just whether the patient will receive care on a regular and reliable basis, but will there be consistency, in terms of having one regular carer who is emotionally consistent too. The relationship between carer and patient is reasonably intimate and it’s important the emotional side of the relationship is considered in terms of reliability and consistency.
Will the careworker be reliable? Will they come on a regular and uninterrupted basis? How many different carers are likely to visit each week, or month? What happens if the primary carer is off sick? What happens if there are adverse weather conditions?
CARE AND COMPASSION
This would appear to be a no-brainer, but think about the motivation the carer had to get into the caring profession. Does it come from a place of care and compassion or is it simply a job that pays their bills? Do they have personal experience where their lives were touched by an amazing carer who inspired them to get into this profession, or is it a career choice they were forced into by necessity?
The best way to gauge the carers level of compassion and empathy is to interview them and request references from previous patients, or the families of patients.
There are different types of carers each with specialist skills in specific areas. You want to make sure you work with a carer that is experienced with the particular issue they will be working with. Questions to ask are what sort of training do the care workers receive? What qualifications and experience do they have in this specific area?
The further question to consider is how often is their training updated? Within medicine and healthcare best practice is constantly evolving. You want to make sure the carer has an up-to-date knowledge and actively engages in continual learning.
A GOOD FIT
Having been through the above aspects, the most important thing to look for in a home health care provider is a good fit with the patient. They should meet and see if they get on – this is going to become a very important relationship and a “good fit” is critical.