When caring for a senior gets to be too much for themselves or you as a caregiver, it is time to consider the help of a home health care nurse. This can be a daunting task and costly. So it is important to know what you are looking for. Here is help in how to select a Home Health Care Nurse.
Often it is preferable to use a home health care nurse for seniors, especially when problems are too much for them or yourself to handle. If you're trying to organize this for a parent, you're no doubt feeling some anxiety and hesitation about where to go for help. This is perfectly natural and there are ways you can alleviate your concerns before your hire.
Home health care provides a number of services including nursing care (full or part-time in the home) or other specialized health professionals. They come into the home and give treatment and check-ups to the patient, with some services such as transport also available. They can assist with things like grocery shopping, doctors' appointments and other assistance, depending on the agency.
One of the first things you may need to consider is how to pay for these services, and the additional costs that may be involved. The first thing you should find out is whether the agency is Medicare certified. This means that they have to pass quality control and tests to assure their work is legitimate and their staff are qualified. Then you need to decide what services you require for your senior.
If there is the need for personal care such as bathing assistance or supplementary services like shopping and cleaning then you'll want to find an agency that can provide it. You'll also want to make sure they have staff available at the times of day that your parent or senior needs the help.
It can be quite uncomfortable at the start for the senior as well, to have a stranger involved in such intimate moments of daily life. So it is important that they can meet with the agency and any nurses that will be provided, to ensure compatibility.
You can usually request a same-sex carer if your parent is concerned about this. Some older men would prefer not to have women caring for them and vice versa for the women - can you imagine a young man coming in to shower or dress you every day? Make sure you deal with an agency that will respect the rights and privacy concerns of your senior.
You'll be able to find care that ranges from permanent in home care provided all day, every day, to a half hour visit a couple of times a week - whatever is needed.
While you do not have to use an agency and can consider privately hiring a nurse to provide care, often an agency will have a number of qualification systems in place that will ensure their competency and reliability. They will require their people to undergo background checks, criminal checks and other qualification checks. You can request the information yourself but it can be harder to obtain, and often references may not be legitimate.
The agencies also will have immediate back up personnel should the primary nurse get sick. That can be a problem for you if you hire someone on your own.