In-Home Care Provider ManagementIf you plan to hire in-home care support for aging parents, it is essential to know how to manage caregivers. An incorrect belief is that caregivers have training or experience. There are few trained or experienced in-home caregivers. These positions are subject to high turnover. Those caring for aging adults at home have a strong desire and enthusiasm to help and learn from them. However, families and caregivers can manage in-house caregivers more effectively if they understand the in-home care industry.A caregiver is a valuable asset, but there are many challenges to having them in your home. The following are some points to consider:
- There’s a feeling that your home and privacy are being invaded sometimes
- A caregiver may watch TV or be on their phone
- The caregiver isn’t always sure what to do
- A caregiver calls out or fails to show up
- They either talk too much or not enough
In-Home Caregiver Success Requirements
Seek the help of an agencyIt’s best to look to a professional agency, especially if they offer supervised services. You are protected from liability for work-related injuries, have a backup in the event someone calls off or doesn’t show. If the caregiver is professionally supervised, they report to a superior, and you have someone who can intervene on your behalf. A social worker or nurse would be an ideal supervisor.
Written care plans are essentialDuring the meeting, state what you want and need with both the supervisor and caregiver present. The caregiver and the home care provider should sign a plan of care and be open to changes as required.
Review routinelyThe supervisor should review the progress of the project at regular intervals, which you may request. You might want to ask for monthly reviews to discuss both positive and negative aspects of the care process.
Ensure medication schedules are followedSome state laws on in-home care prohibit home caregivers from taking medication from a prescription bottle to give it to a patient. However, you or a loved one can ask a family member or friend if you are unable to complete this task. An on-call nurse can take over the medications, pick them up from the pharmacy and place the medications into medication reminder containers if this isn’t possible.The in-home caregiver is permitted to remind the older adult to take medications. Furthermore, in some states, in-home caregivers are prohibited from providing eye drops, ear drops, or over-the-counter supplement treatments. Before commencing services, speak with the agency owner about prescription medication needs.
Communication is the keyIt is your responsibility to communicate with and request precisely what you are seeking. Determine what has already been agreed to in the Plan of Care. When done correctly, appropriate communication is crucial.
Establish and maintain a professional relationshipRemember that the hired caregiver is not your family, no matter how close you become with them. A professional relationship ensures that medical care requested is provided. You should know your caregiver’s professional boundaries or the rules governing how the caregivers can do their jobs, you should ask so that you do not conflict with their work.It is shocking how caretakers share personal information with clients when they ask them personal questions. Caretakers are instructed not to provide clients with any personal information. Personal information includes mobile phone numbers, family members’ names, and information regarding financial problems or employment issues.Financial struggles or conflicts with a spouse are common topics of conversation with older adults. A caregiver’s worries about visiting children and other matters add additional burdens and stresses. Caregivers in-home care situations must reduce and alleviate concern and commitment rather than increase them.We often cross boundaries in the area of “giving of items.” Anything that is not required should not be given as a gift to caregivers.If you intend to give a gift, tip, or money, ensure the agency has approved the gifts, recommendations, or cash before they are given. The caregiver becomes accustomed to accepting gifts when a client crosses the gift boundary.
How to manage the relationship with the in-home caregiver
- Respect boundaries: Caretakers should be considered staff rather than family members or friends.
- Agree on the caregiver’s responsibilities from the start
- Hire an agency if you cannot support hiring the caregiver yourself with the back office actions
- Plan your care in writing
- Contact the agency supervisor you hired to oversee the caregiver regularly
- Assume the role of a manager and treat the caregiver as an employee
- Communicate clearly what you need
- Establish a mutually respectful working relationship with the caregiver
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you manage a caregiver?
- Establish a transparent culture. Promote an open and honest work environment.
- Keep a close eye on things. Make sure that all home health aides are still supervised in the field.
- Frequently evaluate your caregiver.
What should a caregiver not do?Precisely what can unlicensed caregivers not do?
- Any medicines administration must follow state guidelines.
- Provide medication advice.
- Assess your health.
- Medically treat patients.
What types of services are offered by home care providers?Home care providers (HCPs) may offer a range of services from assistance with tasks of daily living such as bathing, dressing, and grooming to health services such as medication management, various treatments or therapies, and nursing services.HCPs must give home care clients a statement of home care services that lists services the licensed provider is authorized to provide and services the provider cannot provide under the scope of their license.
Where are home care services provided?Home care services are provided in a variety of settings including:
- individuals’ private homes;
- residential homes where there may be multiple clients;*
- larger multi-unit establishments, often with communal dining and other shared spaces.