4 Common Problems with Home Health Care (and How to Avoid Them)

Most seniors want to age in the comfort of their own home. However, many family members don’t have the capacity to make caregiving their full-time job. Fortunately, in-home care offers an alternative that allows seniors to stay in their own homes, even if families can’t provide care. 

Before you start scheduling visits with a home care agency or caregiver, it’s important to have a full picture of some of the challenges your family will face when you choose in-home care. Explore four common problems with home health care, and learn how to avoid them.

1. Communication Issues Between the Agency and the Client

When it comes to senior care, communication is essential. With numerous people involved in senior care, from family members to various doctors to physical therapists and more, keeping everyone in the loop on a senior’s health can be a complicated process. Adding an agency or caregiver to the mix can complicate things even further. 

It’s crucial to have a foundation of successful communication between your family, your senior loved one, and the home care agency. Breakdowns in communication can be a cause for frustration or even mistakes made in your loved one’s care. You don’t want to waste additional time trying to connect with caregivers, so it’s valuable to talk about communication processes before making any decisions. 

Working with multiple caregivers or caregivers that speak a different language than your loved one can lead to communication challenges. However, these challenges aren’t impossible to overcome. You can ask if an agency can schedule the same caregiver for every visit. When you have continuity in caregiver visits, you minimize the chance for breakdowns in communication. Using an app like CaringOnDemand allows you to choose the caregivers you like and trust, and you can work with these caregivers to schedule recurring visits.

2. Caregivers Aren’t Trained Properly or Their Behaviors are Unacceptable

It can feel uncomfortable bringing a stranger into your home, even if they are trained and trusted in-home caregiver. One challenge you may face or worry about is that the caregivers who come into your loved one’s home are not properly trained to provide the care they need. Although most agencies do require training, not all caregivers possess the specific skills needed to help your loved one. For example, your loved one may require assistance with cooking or cleaning their home, but if a caregiver doesn’t have these skills, you may not want to work with them. 

You also want to ensure that the caregivers you’re working with are professional. While you want to feel comfortable with the caregiver visiting your loved one, you don’t want relations to become so comfortable that they stop acting in a professional manner, like frequent arriving late or calling in sick.

How can you ensure that your loved one is comfortable with the caregiver in their home? First, talk to the agencies and caregivers you’re considering about the training and certifications they possess. Agencies generally have a specific process for vetting the caregivers they employ. Be sure to ask about these processes. You should also set expectations before you begin working with an agency or caregiver directly. Talk to them about the services your loved one requires and ensure they offer these services.

3. Technology Complicates Care

One challenge many seniors face today is the barriers created by technology. Using technology can present two problems for seniors in terms of in-home care:

  • Their caregiver is on their phone too often instead of giving your loved one appropriate attention during their visit. 
  • Scheduling visits using technology is difficult for your senior loved one.

Let’s first look at the challenge of caregivers using their phones on the job. While there may be some opportunity to play games with your senior loved one using technology or help them use a phone, tablet or computer, using technology for personal reasons should be discouraged. It’s fine for caregivers to have their phone on in the event of a personal emergency, but playing on technology when they should be providing care is unacceptable. 

Now, when it comes to using technology to schedule and manage care, many seniors might feel intimidated. Not all home care agencies require you to know how to use technology to schedule care. However, agencies that do use technology generally have easy-to-use solutions for their clients. CaringOnDemand, for example, makes it simple to request a caregiver with the click of a button on your phone or computer. And, if your loved one still doesn’t feel comfortable using this solution to request care, they can always call the agency or have you schedule care for them. 

4. Services are Expensive or Have Hourly Minimums

Many families are hesitant to choose in-home care because they worry it will be expensive, and in some cases, that assumption is correct. In fact, most home care agencies require visits to be a minimum number of hours (usually four). This keeps the price high for you or your loved one, even if they just need 15 minutes of assistance a day from a caregiver.

How can you address this challenge and keep prices low? Some agencies offer a pay-by-the-minute pricing structure. This allows your family to pay only for what they need with no minimum. CaringOnDemand agencies use this model, which keep prices low, generally an average of $0.99 per minute. This allows you to minimize the price while still scheduling convenient care. 

Don’t let these challenges deter your family from choosing in-home care for your senior loved one. When you have the right strategies for avoiding these challenges, you can ensure your loved one receives great care at an affordable price. 

Find out if in-home care is right for your senior loved one. Schedule your free first visit now.