Some people require regular or round-the-clock care in the comfort of their own home. Hiring a home health aide is a great way that senior citizens and people with disabilities are still able to live comfortable and independent lives while getting the assistance that they need. If your elderly or disabled loved one may be in need of this type of care, how do you make sure you hire someone capable for the job?
After all, it takes a special kind of person to be a home health aide as they need to be as compassionate as they are competent. After all, you are hiring someone you can trust to take care and, at times, deal with your family member. If you are currently looking around for a caregiver who can look after your homebound loved one’s health, here are qualities to look out for:
- An authentic and caring attitude. An impressive resume and skills are nice, but they cannot make up for a lack of patience and empathy. Otherwise, you might subject your family member to someone who will treat them coldly, which can affect them negatively. You can go to a company that makes an effort to screen their employees, especially when recruiting home health aides. These agencies can help you find a pleasant home health aide who will treat your loved ones with respect and kindness while ensuring that their daily needs are met.
- Dependability. Perhaps the biggest misgiving that all families have about getting a home caregiver is the fact that they are entrusting their loved ones’ care to a stranger. The fear of something going wrong is something that should not be ignored, so it’s highly important to hire a health aide who is reliable. You want to hire someone who is always available to take care of your loved one and will take their job seriously.
- Effective communication skills. A good home health aide not only knows how to listen to your loved one, they know how to speak with them too. It is essential for a home aide worker to be able to hear and understand what their patients are saying while being able to respond in an appropriate manner if needed. A good home health aide can clearly explain certain things to their patients and their families, especially when they notice any changes or declines in the person’s health.
- Skilled multi-tasker. Caring for homebound individuals is not just about bathing and feeding them. It also includes running errands and doing general household chores too. If your loved one is in need of someone who can do those tasks in addition to home care, then it’s important to find someone who can handle those responsibilities.
- Patience. While your loved one may require home care, they may not always be so happy about it. After all, no one wants to let a stranger into their home because of their diminishing abilities. This loss of full independence can be hard on some people, and they may be difficult to work with at times. It’s highly important to hire a health aide who can stay composed but remain persistent in providing the care your loved one needs, even during trying times.
- Detail-oriented. Caring for someone’s day-to-day needs requires a lot of considerations with regard to the individual’s needs, wants, and habits. Home aides that do grocery shopping and cook on their patients’ behalf need to be aware of any food allergies and preferences when doing so. They also need to be mindful of their patient’s medical needs and need to be observant of their demeanor. Any changes in the patient’s behavior or condition should be noticed and their family should be immediately notified.
- Adaptability and sharp-wittedness. A good health aide does not just know how to adapt to different situations, but they also need to know how to properly respond to them. Caring for a person with limited mobility often involves having to adjust to their lifestyle and needs with no complaints. It can also mean that unpredictable events can occur at the drop of a hat. In case of an accident or a medical emergency, the caregiver also needs to take initiative too.
When it comes to finding the right home health aide to take care of your loved ones, you have to set the bar high. Your family members deserve nothing but the best care from an aide who exhibits all these qualities and more. Whether you’re conducting the interview yourself or are letting an agency handle it for you, be aware of your loved one’s needs so your family will end up with a home health aide who can meet those needs.