Caring for a sick family member can be stressful, especially if you are already taking care of a million other things such as work, school and chores. Sometimes, you may feel like throwing in the towel or, at the very least, want to take a little break. Fortunately, you can hire a home health care provider to help lighten up your load and make caring your loved one more manageable. Find out what qualifications to look for when hiring an ideal provider to make your life a bit easier.
Education and Training
According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, home health care providers do not need a high school diploma in order to start working. They receive their training on the job under the supervision of registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, experienced health care providers, and their leads or supervisors. Find out whether they know how to cook special meals or diets, if your family member is following one. Find someone who can also help with basic housekeeping tasks such as changing bed linens and keeping the home clean and safe.
Look for someone who has qualifications to help bathe or groom your sick family member. Find someone who can clean after your family member’s “mess,” if your sick family member has disabilities that prevent him from doing so. Considering someone who has passed a competency evaluation will help ensure that the home health care provider can perform the required tasks.
License and Certification
Checking for licensing, although it may not be a strict requirement in your state, is also something you may want to do when looking for a home health care provider. Licensing ensures that the provider has completed at least 75 hours of training programs, competency evaluation or state certification.
A home health care provider who has passed a licensing or certification program has gone through training that includes cleaning the patient (personal hygiene), transferring patients safely, reading and recording vital signs, and understanding basic nutrition.
According to BLS.gov, “Aides may take a competency exam to become certified without taking any of the training. At a minimum, 16 hours of supervised practical training are required before an aide has direct contact with a resident.” The federal government outlines the minimum requirements; however, see whether your state requires additional training to become certified.
You may not exactly find Mary Poppins; however, if you can find someone who is cheerful, compassionate, helpful, responsible, flexible and dependable, then you are in luck. These traits are necessary in getting through the daily stress of caring for a sick person. In addition, the provider should also be in good health; therefore, include passing a physical examination as one of the qualifications you are looking for. See whether your state requires tests for tuberculosis and other diseases.
A candidate with a driver’s license and a good driving history will provide you peace of mind if you need help in driving your sick family member around–for example, to and from doctor’s appointments. Obtaining a complete background check will help identify applicants who have previous criminal records.
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