When home health care services became fairly new to the Vancouver area a few years ago, I remember having an elderly neighbor who had hired one of these agencies to sit with them at night to help keep an eye on her ailing husband so that she could get some sleep. Despite the fact that this couple was in their 80s, they were still very sharp mentally. While the female caregiver was in pretty fair health, just the feeling of having someone else in the house at night allowed her to sleep much easier – until one night when she got up to go to the bathroom and saw that the home health care worker was asleep on the sofa! Not only did the worker take the opportunity to do this, but they also smoked in the house as well. After all of this, the home health care agency was terminated and told they were no longer permitted to work there again.
Sadly, the husband passed away not long after this; however, this entire experience made the wife feel extremely uncomfortable about the mere thought of home health care services in general. Defined, home health care is something that a lot of elderly individuals prefer if members of their own family are unable to provide this kind of care for them themselves.
All in all, there’s a lot to take into account when it comes to hiring a home health care service because you’re essentially allowing complete strangers into your home. Of course, the first thing you should do is look for an agency that is well known in your area of residence. It doesn’t have to be a large one; however, be sure to obtain as many references as possible, and take the time to check each and every one of them. This is because any agency can end up having someone who was unhappy with their services for virtually any reason at all. On the other hand, they could have someone who was completely happy with them.
There are also a few things that you should never do when it comes to hiring a home health care service in Vancouver, such as the following:
Never Assume that Backup Care Will Be Provided
Always ask about backup care when the time comes to decide on a home health care agency to hire. There is one woman that I know who had to spend both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day sleeping on her elderly aunt’s sofa simply because the home health care service assigned to her didn’t provide backup care for the holidays. Furthermore, the in home senior care caregiver who was supposed to come ended up having her plane get delayed. Always ask an agency if a sufficient amount of backup staffing is provided for various types of emergencies and occasions.
Watch Out for “Revolving Door” Caregivers
Talk to agencies about whether or not they will assign the same caregiver to a home. Imagine one person showing up to provide your loved one with something such as a bath, then when they’ve gotten adjusted to that person after a while, other different people begin to show up. This is something that can upset your elderly family member as time goes on. Furthermore, due to vacations and other instances when a different person may need to come to the home, it’s definitely a good idea to have your family member get used to the idea of at least two or three different people coming to help them; however, Strive Living says the agency should always make an effort to send the same people each time in a rotation.
Keep an Eye Out for Hidden Costs
Another major issue regarding home health care is the actual cost of this service. I remember a neighbor of mine coming home from the hospital one time following an injury, which is when we first became aware of just how the home health care business works. In fact, the hospital never even stated that he would be able to choose from a list of different agencies to work with, and even though I was in the business myself, I was still fairly new at it. My neighbor became used to my company every day, and I would always stay with him for about an hour or so every day. However, the hospital said he needed certain services, so we just took their word for it and figured it was included in his Medicaid coverage. No one had told us anything different.