Yesterday, we talked about challenges for providing services to homecare clients when the regular Home Care Aide is out for some reason, and the client feels that no one else could possibly be as good.
As we said, this happens even — perhaps more so — with very good agencies. Part of what will make an agency great, in our opinion, is eliminating this issue, so that clients never hesitate to accept a substitute caregiver. Support For Home is committed to moving from “very good” to “great,” by this and other measures.
So, what are we — and what should other very good non-medical homecare agencies be doing to move up the quality ladder? Some folks will disagree with us, but that has not stopped us yet! 🙂
The first thing we are doing is in fact emphasizing the fact that we are providing Non-Medical Homecare, supporting our clients Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) and Instrumental ADLs (IADLs). Home Health agencies are tasked with providing skilled nursing and other forms of therapy (e.g., physical or speech therapy). These agencies, in California, are licensed and the employees are, as well. Unfortunately, not every state licenses Home Health agencies. That is a bad thing, as far as we are concerned.
However, our major point is that we are focused on the non-medical needs of the client, including home safety, emergency alert systems, memory care, and all of the ADLs and IADLs. So, now comes the controversial part. 🙂
Many non-medical homecare agencies are headed by RNs. For many of them, they consider this a strength. For home health agencies, we think it definitely is, as well. For non-medical homecare agencies, however, we think a gerontology plus social work focus is far more appropriate. Because of that, our Manager of Client Services holds a degree in Gerontology, rather than an RN status. Don’t get us wrong, some of our best friends are RNs, and a friend who is an RN runs excellent agencies in the Palm Springs and San Francisco areas.
However, our gerontology and “social work” emphasis recognizes that there is a totality of need to be understood and addressed, from mental health to shopping to toileting and everything in between. For medical needs, we work with clients’ doctors and home health agencies, who address their slice of the universe of need. In our view, the better we become at the social work focus, the faster we will move from “very good” to “great.”
Best wishes. Bert