10 Home Care Disasters to Avoid

1.- Medication Mismanagement

Since medication mismanagement can lead to serious illness or even death, proper medication management should arguably be the top priority for in home health care. The problem of medication errors among the home health care population is greater than in other health care. The majority of older home health care patients routinely take more than five prescription drugs, and many patients deviate from their prescribed medication regime. Nearly one-third of older home health care patients have a potential medication problem or are taking a drug considered inappropriate for older people. If your loved one has problems remembering his or her medication regime (the whats, the whens, and how much to take), you should make sure that any potential caregiver can help guide your loved one in this area.

2.- Hiring Inexperienced Caregivers

When it comes to caring for your loved one, you don’t want inexperience to affect your loved one’s quality of life. Experienced caregivers are confident with their abilities, but they also know when an emergency demands immediate attention from paramedics or a doctor.

3.- Hiring Company That Doesn't Carry Liability Insurance

Having a relative stranger in your home carries certain risks. What if the caregiver suffers an injury or falls ill? Any licensed, reputable, professional agency will carry liability insurance to provide you with peace of mind.

4.- No Backups In Place for Emergencies

The sure sign of a company you should avoid – they don’t plan for caregiver absences. If there is no backup system and no plan in the event that the regular caregiver gets sick, your loved one could suffer. This is especially troublesome if your loved one lives quite a distance from friends and family. A strong home health care company will have a detailed backup plan in case of emergencies.

5.- Revolving Door Care Providers

Your loved one needs daily home health care – could you imagine if a different caregiver showed up for each of the seven days of the week? Nobody expects caregivers to work seven days a week, but an effort should be made to consistently send the same personnel. Off days, vacations, illnesses and employee turnover clearly dictate that more than one person will be sent to your loved one’s home. Having a stranger take care of you in your own home is an intensely personal situation, and loved ones can benefit from having some stability and familiarity with their health care providers. A rotation of two to three caregivers that your loved one likes, is ideal.

6.- Taking on Too Much Yourself

Providing home health care for a loved one often requires boundless energy, time, patience – and expertise. While it’s admirable to take on the role of primary caretaker for your loved one, you may be doing a disservice to both you and your loved one. If you have a job, family responsibilities and hobbies, you might not be able to find the adequate time to devote to your loved one. And the opposite can occur: you dedicate substantial time to caring for your loved one, but your other responsibilities suffer. Another issue: Are you knowledgeable enough about your loved one’s health issues and medications to be able to provide? Giving up control and allowing professionals to care for your loved one might not be an easy decision, but it could produce the most desirable outcome.

7.- Not Personalizing Your Loved One's Care

If your loved one has diabetes, wouldn’t you want to hire an agency or health care specialist who has experience taking care of diabetics? Don’t you want someone who knows the signs and symptoms that indicate an imminent diabetic emergency, such as a seizure? Make sure that the agency you hire sends personnel who have knowledge and experience with your loved one’s specific health problems and needs.
d, licensed, and state certified. They are committed in providing homecare with affection, respect, and dignity.

8.- Paying More Than You Can Afford

Everyone wants their loved ones to have the best care possible. But not budgeting properly and paying more than you can afford can have dire consequences. If your loved one only needs a few hours of home care a week, don’t schedule 40 or more hours. In addition, some hospitals might not even tell you that you have a choice of agencies – they might refer you to “their people,” an agency that the hospital owns. You do have a choice, and you owe it to your loved one to do some research and find the best, most personalized home health care possible.

9.- Not Checking References

Checking an applicant’s references should be standard operating procedure for any field, but is especially important when it comes to health care. After all, health care providers have a lot of responsibilities in their hands. Any reputable company or agency should have a thorough reference-checking system in place.

10.- No Background Check

Another important part of the home health care process is performing thorough background checks on job applicants. Even if an applicant who gives the best interview in the history of the company, you want to check his or her background. A con artist can take advantage of lax home health agencies – and your loved one will ultimately wind up the victim. Because of the enormous advancements in technology and information distribution, there is no excuse for not conducting thorough background checks on all applicants.

A way to avoid all these potential disasters is to choose a reputable, licensed home health care company like Angel Care. Their professionals provide high-quality home care services right in your own home. Angel Care is licensed by the Agency for Healthcare Administration of Florida (AHCA). Their “angels” are experienced, licensed, and state certified. They are committed in providing homecare with affection, respect, and dignity.

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