The Top 3 Home Health Care Issues and How to Avoid Them

When it comes to our beloved senior citizens, providing them with adequate care is our primary concern. Although some seniors thrive in a nursing home setting, many need more personalized attention; and when they are cared for by a home health professional, they experience less stress and frustration and can thrive. In fact, most elderly individuals prefer to live at home because they feel connected to their personal space and as the saying goes, “there’s no place like home.” Additionally, having a caregiver provide for your senior can also provide family members with peace of mind because they know their loved one is receiving quality care in an environment that they love. That said, no matter how good a home health care agency is, one has to evaluate them carefully to ensure that they are a good match for your senior.

Here are some of the common issues that individuals experience with home health care agencies. By understanding and addressing these issues head-on, you can keep your senior safe. Let’s get started.

#1 Lack of Training

Many home health care providers often struggle with providing sufficient training for their seniors. Yes, specific skills do require certifications and nursing degrees, but some skills, like cooking or cleaning ability, are often overlooked. Not everyone is an excellent cook or keeps the cleanest home, and that is also true of home health caregivers.

When hiring a home health care agency, be very specific about the kinds of skills you and your loved one require. For instance, if your senior is a picky eater and refuses to eat anything but a gourmet meal, you should choose a health care professional with culinary skills. On the same token, if your senior is an extrovert who loves to communicate, then it’s essential that you find someone with a gift of gab who enjoys an open dialogue.  After all, you are the client, and you’re hiring a service company, so make a list of exactly the kinds of personality traits and skills you require. Also, be clear about any activities you’d like your caregiver to engage in with your senior.

#2 Communications

Lack of communication or miscommunication between you and the home health care agency is a widespread problem. It is extremely critical for you, the senior, and the caregiver to have excellent communication. This open dialogue ensures that everyone is on the same page and that all tasks are handled proficiently. With this in mind, always have a good line of communication with the home health care agency and address any issues immediately. This ensures that you stay on top of everything, particularly with multiple caregivers. For example, always inform your caregiver or any medications, doctor’s appointments, stressors, personality quirks, etc.

#3 Bad Behavior

Whether a caregiver’s behavior is deemed good or bad is mostly relative — in other words, bad behavior is in the eye of the beholder. However, most clients agree on several practices that are bothersome—not providing adequate care, being late, and spending too much time on their phones or social media.

Although you may develop a close relationship with the caregiver, and even consider that person a friend, it is essential to set boundaries. You and your loved ones are hiring the caregiver to do a service, and your caregiver or agency needs feedback on any likes and dislikes — regardless of whether it is positive or negative. For instance, one common complaint involves caregivers who spend a significant amount of time on their smartphones, answering texts, using social media, or surfing the internet. This can be a massive distraction for the caregiver and can even lead to mistakes in medication or other carelessness with the senior. Certainly, caregivers can use their phones at work, but it shouldn’t be excessive. Be upfront about your expectations and voice any concerns that you may have. Ensure that your loved one is adequately taken care of at all times.

In conclusion, choosing a home health care provider can take a bit of effort but, it is a critical task. By selecting a caregiver with adequate training and skills, keeping the lines of communication open, being mindful of lousy behavior, and discussing your likes and dislikes, many of the most common issues that people experience can be resolved quickly.