10 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Home Care Provider

When selecting a home care agency, it is important to know what questions to ask. Here are some examples of important questions that consumers should ask of a prospective service provider:

1.) How long has the agency been providing private duty home care?

2.) Is a written, customized care plan developed in consultation with the client and family members, and is the plan updated as changes occur?

3.) How are emergencies handled after normal business hours?

4.) Do they closely supervise the quality of care, including maintenance of a daily journal in the client’s home and non-scheduled supervisory visits?

5.) Does the agency employ a nurse, social worker, or other qualified professional to make regular visits to the client’s home?

6.) Do they provide a written document that states the rights and responsibilities of the client, and explains the company’s privacy policy and code of ethics?

7.) Do they triple-screen their caregiver employees carefully, including use of reference checks, driving records and criminal background investigations?

8.) Does the agency mandate ongoing training of its employees to continually update their skills?

9.) Does the agency manage all payroll and employee-related matters and adhere to state and federal guidelines in its employment practices, such as withholding appropriate taxes and providing workers’ compensation and other benefits?

10.) Do they also use independent contractors? If so, who employs the person and what type of background checks do they do on their employees? Also, who pays the mandated taxes and withholdings?

Gay Seniors Fear Nursing Home Discrimination

A national survey done two years ago on the topic indicated that of about 770 gay seniors living in nursing homes, 43 percent reported some type of mistreatment by staff or fellow patients.

The most common complaint was abuse or harassment by other residents. This accounted for about 25 percent of all the problems faced by LGBT patients. This is not surprising, given that long-held attitudes and beliefs die hard. For many years, discrimination and harassment of gays and lesbians were the norm. Many people aren’t able to let go of those beliefs. The problem is, now they’re living side-by-side, and sometimes in the same room.

Additional problems included that about 20 percent of LGBT patients were abruptly discharged from their facility – a far higher rate than their straight counterparts.

A number also admitted verbal and physical harassment from staff, specifically pertaining to their sexual orientation.

What’s worse is that for many of them, the fact that they are gay has often served to isolate them from friends or family members. This is often a common thread in many abuse and neglect scenarios. With no one to closely watch after them, they are more vulnerable than their straight counterparts.

About 75 percent of LGBT respondents in another poll said they would likely hide their sexual orientation if they ended up in an institution.

 

Ref: http://www.floridanursinghomelawyerblog.com/2012/08/gay_seniors_fear_nursing_home_1.html

Nursing Home Residents Living Without Choice and Control

A recent study shows that cognitively intact nursing home residents attach importance to CHOICE and CONTROL over basic life matters such as bedtime, rising time, food, roommates, care routines, use of money, use of the telephone, trips out of the nursing home, and initiating contact with a physician. Certified Nursing Assistants sound in on the fact that such control is important to residents:  Due to the necessity to effectively run a controlled environment, Nursing Home facilities and their staff are placing lower importance than residents on use of the telephone and personal expenditures and higher importance on control and choice over visitors and formal nursing home activities. Residents polled are not satisfied with their control and choice and nursing assistants agree that they are unlikely to experience control and choice of the areas of concern.

Aging in Place is the solution to spending the last phase of our lives in control of of lives. Living a long life is a virtue that should be honored with respect to one’s Choices and Rights. Home Care provides that solution. Having a Home Care Companion or a Certified Nursing Assistant at home enables us to live freely with support instead of restriction.

Ref: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9288016