My last post dealt with two very serious, absolutely valid objections raised in a study done by Dr. Lee Lindquist and her colleagues concerning the practice of too many home care agencies. The issues are so important that I want to continue that discussion, here.
The next item on the study’s list of problems is,
- Only one in three agencies test their caregivers’ skills or do any kind of home visit to check on performance.
This truly is an epidemic problem in home care. At Support For Home, there are several steps we take to address this issue.
- Unlike the vast majority of home care agencies, we hire primarily Certified Nurse Assistants (CNAs) or higher state certifications (Home Health Aides, for example). We believe that a professional commitment to become licensed means a lot about both skills and passion.
- We urge our CNAs++ to continue to earn their CEUs (Continuing Education Units) to maintain their certifications. Our employee newsletter has a list of all the classes we recommend — and some for which we pay.
- We hold in-service trainings (next ones coming up next month, in fact) at which we invite hospice agencies, social workers, home health agencies, and so forth, to help us raise the level of our Home Care Aides even higher.
- Quality Assurance visits are absolutely key. At our agency, we have a stop light color coding system for our clients / patients that determines the frequency with which our Gerontologist Client Services Manager, or I perform QA visits. The results are reported back at our daily staff meeting each morning.
If your home care agency is not focused on quality and performance, talk to them (not too politely) or find an agency that is committed to quality.
The next item from the study only takes a moment to deal with:
- Two-thirds of the agencies advertise that their caregivers are could assist with financial transactions, such as bill-paying.
Our take? NO! We work with great fiduciaries and conservators and trust attorneys and bank trust departments who perform these services. It is NOT the role of a Home Care Aide or agency.
Sadly, I am not through with this theme, so look for part 3.
Best wishes. Bert