According to the National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC), around 12 million Americans require some form of home healthcare every year due to chronic illness, disability and for many other reasons. Many of the care recipients are older adults with different life-threatening comorbidities that further make them vulnerable to different infections.
Home health aides work closely with the clients in providing them with personal care assistance, bathing, grooming, household support, running errands etc. Therefore, it is very important for you to know the questions that should be answered by the service providers to ensure that you receive quality assistance.
This article will help you know some of the most important questions in different categories that you should ask before hiring a home health aide.
Qualifications and Experience
- What are the home health aide’s credentials? Is he or she licenced to practice? Check for the licensing body.
- Can the aide provide the two references from her last employment? Check those references thoroughly.
- Ask about the home health aide’s previous work experiences. How long he or she is working in-home healthcare settings.
- What additional courses or certifications have been completed? Like infection prevention and control, hazard management, quality and patient safety, early warning signs monitoring etc.?
Quality of Care
- Does the home health aide portray a positive attitude?
- Does the aide seem friendly, helpful and ethical?
- Situation specific questions can also be asked like assessing their ability to make culturally appropriate foods for the client or in case of a language barrier can the aide understand and communicate with the client in their language?
- How much does the home health aide charge for the services and which services are included in those fees?
- What about payments in the days of leaves such as sick leaves, vacations etc.? It should be clarified at the beginning of how many leaves or day-offs are allowed as well as which days are considered holidays.
- Is the client responsible for social security and payroll taxes?
- It is highly necessary to ask about the written care plan prior to the beginning of the services. This plan should include the written documentation about the medical equipment, specific care needs, carer’s responsibilities, reporting mechanism in case of any incident, complaint or sentinel event. Also, it should contain input from the client’s primary physician.
- Will the client and the family receive the rights and responsibilities of all patients involved? This is known as the “Patient’s bill of rights”.
- Is the care available round the clock if necessary?
- How does the home health aide deliver the care in case of emergencies? Is he or she certified to provide life-saving care such as basic life support etc.? How does the home health aide deliver care in case of natural disaster or power failure?
Infection Prevention and Control
As we know that the world is currently suffering through COVID-19 pandemic crisis, therefore the demand for home health aid has increased. In addition, it is also necessary to follow infection control protocols to prevent cross-transmission of infection. Before hiring a home health aide for your loved one, you need to ask the following questions to reduce your loved one’s risk of infection.
- Is you or anyone in your surrounding is COVID-19 positive? Have you ever been exposed to the infection?
- Are all the essential immunizations completed?
- What will infection control measures be taken by the home health aide if hired? Such as the use of sanitizers, handwashing protocol, cough etiquette, wearing and disposing of personal protective equipment (PPEs) etc.
- Does the home health aide have enough personal protective equipment?
- Will the care be provided if the client or the family members get exposed to COVID 19? How will the care be delivered in this situation?
Home health care services comprise various services including personal care, daily household chores and other important tasks. Therefore, you need to ask several important questions to choose the best provider for your needs.