It can be very difficult and challenging for a disabled person or someone who cares for a disabled person to find a home health care aide who is compatible, honest, and reliable. All of the suggestions below come from my personal experience, having had MS for 40 years. My hope is that this list gives you some direction to follow in order to find a health care aide to suit your needs and to make your life better.
• You must be able to lift and transfer the person in your care to and from the toilet, bed, shower, or anywhere else the patient wishes to go in a safe and strong manner; not putting him or her in any danger. Learn how to properly and safely help your patient to transfer and move about.
• You must always retain a professional manner, not discussing your personal problems, money problems, health issues, or your family information. You are there to care for your patient and not to burden them with problems of your own.
• You must not take or make personal calls while you are on the job. Handle your personal life when you are not on the job.
• You must pay attention to your patient and do things that she requests in a manner that you are told.
• You must never ask for food or drinks other than water while you are on your job.
• DO NOT take advantage of your patient's disability in any way shape or form. Your patient has you there because there are things that they can no longer do. She is in a vulnerable position and to take advantage of them is unconscionable and will not be tolerated.
• Be on time. If you find it necessary to be late or cannot be there on the appointed day make sure that you call your patient as soon as possible. Do not make them wait for you unnecessarily thereby causing them stress and having to readjust their schedule to suit yours. And never make them have to track you down by calling you or the agency which has hired you.
• The person in your charge is your boss and as such you will act accordingly by being polite, cheerful, caring and by doing a professional and thorough job with whatever task is asked of you just as he would with any other employer.
• Do not rush or cut corners so that you can get out of there as soon as possible. You are being paid with taxpayer money or money from the patient's themselves or their family and as such you are expected to work hard and not to make excuses for substandard work ethics.
• Laziness will not be tolerated and if you are asked to do something do it with a concentrated effort and to the best of your ability. Take personal pride in your work knowing that you were doing something of worth and importance. Not everyone is able to take on being a home health care aide and if you do your job well you are invaluable.
• Make sure that you ask your patient if there is anything else you can do for them before you leave. Make sure that they are comfortable and satisfied with the work you do have done for them.
• If you have any questions about where something belongs or how the patient would like something to be done ask her and don't just put things where you feel like it or do things your own way no matter what the consequences.
Just because the person in your care has a disability does not mean that she is ignorant or not aware of your actions. Realize that it may be hard for people with disabilities to ask for help and to be assertive so it is up to you to make sure that things are done for their convenience and not for yours.
• Never put your patient in an uncomfortable position of having to be afraid of you or to feel that you will take measures to intimidate herby being verbally or physically abusive or by your body language causing your patient to be uncomfortable or even afraid of you. To do so is not only immoral but also illegal and if you are such a person you must be prepared to take the consequences.
• Do not ever ask your patient for money. It is cause for immediate dismissal.
• Do not complain about circumstances in your own life. The person in your care has enough to worry about and should not be put through any more stress than they already have.
• If you are tired or having a bad day do not take it out on your patient. More than likely he or she is having a much worse day than you are.
• Theft of any kind will not be tolerated, is unconscionable, illegal, and cause for immediate dismissal as well as prosecutable.
• If your patient is in a wheelchair or lying in bed do not hover over them thereby making them uncomfortable that you are in a higher position than they. It is rude to your patient and your job is to make them feel as good about themselves as you possibly can.
• Always treat the person in your care as you would wish to be treated if you were in their situation. Be compassionate, caring, and helpful. There may come a day when you yourself will need the help of an aide and act as the aide that you would wish to have in your home and taking care of you.