Arranging home care for ageing/ailing parents/close ones can be a difficult process for many different reasons, but in the end the solution is not complicated.
That is, if you have high quality home care personnel providing the care, you will at least be able to rest easy knowing that your kin is well taken care of.
Working for home health care industry and watching it very closely trying to penetrate towards quality care , here are some suggestions for individuals who are looking at some form of home care arrangements for their loved ones.
Some tips and suggestions that you can use as a reference point for sourcing a carer for your loved one.
1. Start the process earlier:
- If you are planning a discharge from the hospital of your loved one, start the process while you are in the hospital. It will never be too early to start this process. Finding the right carer who will understand your kin’s needs is an exercise worth spending time and effort on.
- There are a few structured players in the market trying to shift the standard of care to a different level altogether by offering quality and trained home care personnel. You may want to evaluate all the options at hand and start the process early.
- Preferable if you start the service while your kin is still in the hospital. It is a good idea to test these options in the hospitals safe environment.
2. Trust your instincts:
- Do not rush into it, if you are not 100%convinced: If in the interview process you are not 100% comfortable with the person, then you are probably right.
- Speak to the care co-ordinators and request them if they have some other carer who can be interviewed.
3. Utilise the value add services:
- Ask for extra assistance. Most of the home care service providers send qualified care coordinator for a pre-assessment visit. As a relative we are not the best person to choose the best carer basis the need. Do not think of some extra investment that you many have to do to get this assessment visit done. Trust me, you will be thank full to them for the rest of your life.
- The care coordinators come to the hospital for a pre-assessment, check the reports, the clinical condition, assess the patient for home care and then chalk out a care plan for the patient. If need be, they also visit the patients home and understand the home set up and accordingly draw up a care plan.
4. Keep expectations clear and very professional:
- Most of the times, you will tend to become too fond or dependent on the carer, but be extra careful and very cautious to keep it within limits and professional.
- You will fear of losing the carer because of any conflict arising and in this fear you may end up over seeing any undue advantages the carer starts to take of you.
- Just because the carer is doing a good job that does not mean that they start defining the rules or make changes to the care plan or ask you to start bypassing the home care agency you have sourced them from.
- Many times the carer may offer you a lower daily wage rate than the agency and tempt you to undercut them. The offer may sound very lucrative and tempting, but in the interest of your love one, beware of doing this. The carer may one fine day decide to stop reporting to work, because of whatever reasons, leaving you high and dry!
- Always keep a check (say a weekly surprise check) at home; this is to always keep the carer on his toes.
- Discuss rest hour/lunch hour/snack time before hand and take the carer’s agreement to it. Keep it very clear that he/she will not make any changes to the plan before checking with you.
- Days off’s have to be informed and planned in advance.
4. Provide useful info about your love one:
- You will know your loved one the best, better than anyone else. Help the carer with this information and to get more familiarised with your love one. This will help them to connect on a common ground for a start as an icebreaker. For example, let the carer know about your loved ones, food preferences,likes and dislikes, hobbies, interests etc.
- You should also provide the following information to the carer in writing or paste it in a place where it is always visible and getting read.
- i.Emergency contact numbers- if family is at distance, closest relative/family friend etc
- ii.Doctor contact number and name.
- iii.In emergency - family member name and contact number.
- The intent of writing such articles will be to create awareness, tickle some thought processes and in my way contribute some suggestions for individuals who are in these situations.Structured Home Health Care in India is still evolving ....
- I will be posting more realistic situations and solutions, which are available and possible today in the home health care segment .....
- In my next article , I will want to share some dont's / no -no's for selecting a carer / home health professional .
- pls note : these are my thoughts and I do not intend to advocate or dissuade any particular institution offering similar services.