Tips for Keeping Your Loved One and Home Safe When Hiring a Home Health Care Worker

Home health care nurse and patientFor many families, hiring a home health care worker is a necessity because they either don’t have the financial means to care for their senior full time or understand that their senior has unique needs that they aren’t trained to handle. Regardless of the reason, ensuring that your loved one is safe is extremely important when you invite a home health care worker into your home. After all, elder abuse is extremely widespread. In fact, the American Association of Retired Persons notes than 1 out of 10 individuals in America over the age of 60 have experienced some kind of abuse. Although you shouldn’t become terrified of hiring a home health care representative, you should do your best to take some precautionary measures to help keep your senior safe. Here are some proven strategies when hiring your next home health care worker.

Hire a Reputable Agency

Although you may be tempted to hire the least expensive agency, you should never hire an agency based on price alone. Instead of hiring an inexpensive service, take the time to explore different payment options and to hire a reputable agency that can work with your budgetary constraints. If full-time care is not an option, perhaps you can hire someone part-time or on an on-call basis. Ask for recommendations from reputable home health care agencies, like the Nurses Guild, who offer professional and loving services to seniors. Once you have a shortlist, interview prospects carefully and review their reviews online.

Perform Background Checks
Ask if the agency conducts background checks. If they don’t, feel free to conduct your own background check on any aide or nurse who will be coming to your home. If the home health agency does in fact perform background checks, ask to see the results if you have any question about the reputation or reliability of their system. A background check can let you know about serious issues that the aide was involved in, such as abuse.  Also, research the agency itself. For example, see if the agency is registered with the Better Business Bureau and what its score is on that site.

Establish Rules
It should be a given that the aide knows that abuse of the person or destruction of the house is entirely unacceptable. Create a check and balance system where specific rules are stated. Be clear about your expectations as to how the caregiver should act in your home. For example, if you prefer that your home health care aide only makes emergency phone calls, state this in your initial meeting.

Install Security Cameras
When you want to know what is going on in your home when you aren’t there, setting up security cameras is a smart idea. You can watch the footage to ensure that no problems are occurring. You can’t always rely on your senior to relay this information to you, especially if they’re disabled or have mental concerns, like dementia. Additionally, some elderly individuals may be scared to let you know if any abuse is occurring.

In conclusion, home health care can provide an excellent source of assistance for your loved ones. However, you must make sure that you are keeping your relatives safe. By following the above tips, you can keep your senior and their home safe.