Even excellent homecare agencies encounter challenges and problems. Believe me, we know. 🙂 The question is, how does the agency respond to those challenges?
The family and homecare client can count on one or more of the following scenarios occurring. The quality of the private duty (homecare) agency will determine how transparent those issues are to the client and family. Ideally, these challenges will all be handled behind the scenes, with the family not even aware of them. Still, it is good for the family to be aware, so they can have high, yet reasonable expectations.
So, here are some of the possible scenarios:
- Everyone gets sick from time to time, even the very best Home Care Aides. The family and client have a right to expect that:
- No caregiver will go to work with a communicable disease — cold, flu, whatever. The caregiver has a responsibility to let the agency know, as soon as possible, when they are beginning to feel ill.
- The agency has the responsibility to have a backup plan for care. Talk to your agency about how many hours it will take, in such a circumstance, to have a backup Home Care Aide in place. For some clients, the answer should be zero, as the care needs to be continuous.
- The client and family, however, should not be impacted by an agencies hiring mistakes. Any mistakes should be ones that make life harder for the agency, not the client! Additionally, those mistakes should be fixed in very short order. When you are interviewing agencies, ask them to tell you about someone they hired and should not have. 🙂
In general, homecare agencies are like most other businesses, in terms of the challenges they face. The difference is that noone is really hurt if a shoe store’s cash registers stop working. Providing support to a senior’s ADLs (Activities of Daily Living) is a very different situation. Talk to your agency about what can “go wrong” and how they deal with challenges.
Best wishes, Bert