Tuesday, January 22, 2008

In-Home Aides Part 4: What Do They Do?

Previous Posts
Part 1: Do You Have Insurance?
Part 2: Finding An Agency
Part 3: What Pricing Can You Expect?

There are several levels of assistance available. There are companions who keep company, there are personal assistants who tend to errands, and there are home health care aides with varying medical training.

We have contracted for home health care aides because mother has had fainting spells and seizure-like episodes. We want to make sure that a qualified person is here in case anything happens.

It seems that each person and agency are a bit different in what they are willing to do or offer. Think about the things you really need done before you start interviewing agencies:

• Will this person need to administer pills? Injections? Other special medical requirements? A companion is NOT qualified to do this.
• Will this person need to prepare meals? How many? Are there special dietary needs? Should you consider a program like Meals on Wheels?
• Will this person need to do any housework? Most will do light cleaning like dishes and tidying up. If you need a maid, hire a maid.
• Will this person need to provide transportation, say to hair or doctor appointments?
• Will this person need to be bi-lingual?
• Will this person need to assist with dressing, showering, and/or toileting? You may need to invest in special equipment like a shower chair, shower wand, hand rails, etc.
• Are there pets in the house? Are they friendly? Who is responsible for them? Quite a few people have allergies.
• Are there any smokers in the house? Many people will refuse to work in a smoking environment.

These are just some of the things your aide may provide, and things you should consider to ensure you get the correct level of help that you'll require. Also keep in mind that you may need these services in the future, so select a provider than can meet your long term needs.

Next Post
In-Home Aides Part 5: My Experiences

No comments: