Some Caregivers can’t be by their loved one’s side 24/7 and may need to employ some help. Hiring a home health care aide to fill in when you can’t be there will keep your mind at ease and your loved one safe.
A home health care aide can either be hired through an agency or a private search. In either case, conducting an in-depth interview to ensure the aide is a good fit for your loved one is an essential step. Even if the aide is selected through an agency, insist that you want to conduct your own interview as well. Your family’s needs differ from those of other families, and an agency, no matter how reputable, may not be able to fully understand them. And let’s be honest, it is your home. You need to be comfortable with the selection more than anyone.
To perform a successful interview, start with a friendly conversation. This will help put everyone at ease. Begin with open-ended questions to start a free-flowing dialogue; then move onto questions that are based on your needs.
• Did you have difficulty finding the home?
• For how long have you been providing home care services?
• Why did your last assignment end?
• What hours do you prefer to work?
• Are you comfortable assisting mom/dad/aunt/grandma with using the bathroom/taking a shower/getting dressed?
• Are you comfortable helping mom/dad/aunt/grandma etc. with reading, eating, walking?
When my family was selecting a home health aide, we liked to create scenarios to help understand how the potential aide managed precarious situations. For instance:
• Sometimes dad takes a really long time to walk from point A to point B. This can be frustrating and requires a lot of patience. Tell me about a time that you had to exhibit a lot of patience with your patient(s)?
• Mom can be really stubborn. Some days she doesn’t want to take her medicine, and we fight about it. Her medicine is critical to her health. How would you handle a situation like this?
• Grandpa has been known to wander. Have you had experience with a patient that wanders?
These types of questions will give you insight into real-life experiences the aide has dealt with and an understanding of how their services were performed. Don’t rush through the process of selecting an aide; the stakes are high. Your loved one’s life is in the hands of someone else. They’re responsible for keeping your loved one safe and healthy!
My family was lucky. We had three long-term aides – one for three years, another for seven years and one for 20 years. They all became part of our family, so much so they were invited to my wedding!
Deanna @ Drive
Deanna, a Drive team member in Digital Marketing has cared for her dad and mom through many disease related challenges; her experience as a Caregiver has made her a stronger person and a Caregiver advocate.