Home Health Aid vs Doing It Yourself

Caring for a loved one can be frustrating and time-consuming. If you’re overwhelmed with work and your children it may be time to consider hiring a full-time caregiver.

The Hiring Process

By hiring a caregiver, this person will be your employee which means you’re now the employer. The best places to look would be online or place an ad in the newspaper. It would be wise to enroll in a payroll management service plan to ensure that they get paid on time and taxes are withheld. You, as the employer will need to have an Employee Identification Number (EIN) with the state. This will allow you to be an employer to someone in your home.

It may seem like more of a burden, but in reality, it’s saving you money. Having someone with your elderly parents, spouse, or even disabled child. This will give you the opportunity to regain your life and be able to spend more quality time with your loved ones.

As the employer, you’ll need to revise a schedule or job description prior to interviewing potential candidates. A simple page or two that will explain their role as the primary caregiver. This will include:

  • doctor appointments
  • grocery shopping
  • companionship
  • administering meds
  • preparing meals
  • assist with bathing and toileting

They can also help with basic housekeeping after all they are in your home for at least eight hours a day, they can mop floors and do small loads of laundry.

Interviewing Professional Caregivers

Searching for the right caregiver for a loved one should be completed thoroughly. The person will be caring for your family member and he or she needs to feel safe.
Questions to ask at their interview:

  • Do you have experience as a caregiver?
  • What did you like/dislike at your last job?
  • Do you hold certificates? CNA, First Aid, CPR
  • Do you enjoy working with seniors?
  • How would you handle a difficult patient?

After they have answered your questions respectfully it would be in the best interest to introduce them to your family member. This way you’ll have an understanding if they share common interests and how the interviewee relates to him or her.

Do Your Homework

Now that you’ve interviewed several potential employees it’s time to run a background check. Find out if the person is who they say they are by doing criminal and abuse checks. Also, check their driving record, if they’re going to be transporting your loved one around in their car, then you need to make sure the caregiver has a clean driving record. Always check their references and contact their previous employers.

After you’ve selected your choice of candidates there needs to be a contract between you and the employee. It stats their salary, job duties, and explains to them what will be expected of them such as coming to work on time, allowing ample amount of time off, positive attitude, and being professional.

If you’ve tried an at-home caregiver and it wasn’t right for you or maybe it just didn’t work out. Then there is another alternative, hire an agency and bring in a home health aid.

Hiring a Home Health Agency

Outsourcing to a home health agency may be well worth the money. It will cost more than hiring someone on your own, about 20% more, but it can pay off in the long run. You won’t have to do all the background work, the agency will train their staff before they’re sent out to your house. If the regular staff can’t make it they’ll ensure that someone else will be in their place. It’s not all on you to call off of work to stay home as it would be if you had to hire someone.

Most agencies will accept Medicare insurance payments if the patient needs medical care. If it’s just assisted daily living skills, then Medicare may not pay for it. You’ll need to discuss this issue with the agency.

Health care agencies offer a wide range of services such as skilled care, physical therapy, and a home health aid to visit your loved one. Agencies require staff to have 24 hours of training a year including CPR, First Aid, and other medically involved subjects. This includes vital signs, memory care (dementia), seizures, and sign language. The staff also need to have a physical performed by a doctor generally every year. This is to ensure that they’re able to perform the job duties assigned to them.

There are some agencies that will train the family on how to change bandages for wound care. They’ll also give you information as well as train you how to cope with the situation at hand. Caring for a loved one is stressful and heartbreaking one day your parent or spouse can be this upbeat person and now they could be confined to a wheelchair or have a serious illness. This can cause depression among family members and depending on the type of healthcare agencies in your area they can help tremendously by just being there for your family member and give you a break.

Depending on which way you choose to hire a home health aid, both resources can provide the amount of care. Although most agencies are better trained and they’ll handle all the business end of it. If you decide to hire someone on your own then you will have to handle it. Agencies may cost a bit more, but it may be beneficial to let them handle staff and payroll. By hiring someone yourself you can make the decisions and establish a rapport with the person. If you hire an agency chances are that the staff may quit leaving you with all the duties until they hopefully find someone to take their place for your loved one.

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