While home health care can be a real life-saver for those with elderly parents who need assistance working with providers is often a daunting task that can be difficult for both the senior and their caretaker(s). It can be a difficult journey finding the home caregivers or nurses that are right for you.
For those just starting the journey into the home health care system, there may still be a lot you don’t know yet. In order to save yourself from some of the frustration, it will be beneficial to review some of the most common problems with home care agencies and how to avoid them.
Top Clients Complaints about Home Care Agencies
- Communication Problems Between Client and the Agency
- Insufficient Caregiver Training
- Too Much Technology
- Irresponsible Caregiver Behaviors
- Cultural differences
Communication Problems Between Client and the Agency
The most common problem lies with poor communication. There are many times when you resort to home health care because your loved one is not able to adequately take care of themselves on their own. For many day-to-day activities, it is up to the caregiver and you to have good communication, so they know what has to be done. It can be especially difficult when you are working with multiple caregivers at a time. Always make sure that everyone is on the same page and up to date with the situation. For things such as doctors’ appointments and medication, taking proper steps to facilitate good communication is crucial.
Insufficient Caregiver Training
One of the biggest challenges facing home healthcare industry is the fact that there is an insufficient training. Although certain certifications and titles require that you go through specific training or schooling, you will find that not everyone is as prepared for the tasks as others. This is not to say that the perfect caregiver needs additional degrees or certifications, however, experience goes a long way and there are some important skills caregivers don’t learn in these trainings. Cooking and cleaning abilities may be something you want to evaluate before hiring a potential caregiver.
Too Much Technology
With the growing role technology plays in our daily lives, it is no surprise that the internet poses a huge distraction to caregivers. Clients often complain that their caregivers spend too much time on their phones or laptops that could be better spent paying attention to their clients. It’s very challenging to expect employees won’t use their phones or computers while at work. But you can manage it. It is very important to be upfront with your personal technology policy and to make sure that you strictly enforce it from the start so that caregivers take you seriously.
Irresponsible Caregiver Behaviors
It is not uncommon for a caregiver to feel like they are part of the family. While this is a very good thing, it is also important that you maintain some boundaries with the caregiver if they start to display some irresponsible behaviors. Everybody is late every once in a while, but if your caregiver consistently lacks punctuality, this can pose a major problem for you. It can also be a red flag when they call out very often without an acceptable reason. It may be hard to stay strict once they start to feel like a friend, but don’t forget that as a client, and an employer, you are allowed to make some demands.
Often those requiring care hire an international worker for assistance. This can be a great way to add some culture to your senior’s life-but it is important that you address possible language and cultural barriers first. There are some cultural differences between hygiene and eating habits that may pose a surprise problem later on. Laying out expectations from the beginning can eliminate these problems.In addition, According to American Psychological Association article: studies said that African-American caregivers fell more rewards from caregiving than White caregivers.
Working with home health care can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be. Being aware of the common problems can give you the heads up you need to steer clear of frustration and get the perfect caretaker.