What Happens If Home Care Goes Wrong?

The idea of hiring a stranger to care for a family member can be unsettling. But no matter if it’s you or an outside agency that provides care for your senior loved one, problems can arise.

If you are trying to provide the caregiving all by yourself, you may not be home at a crucial time. Or if you opt to stay in your loved one’s home, you may end up feeling exhausted or “isolated.” Both can prevent you from providing your original intended level of care. And if multiple family members are taking turns with caregiving, there may be miscommunication, disagreements about schedules, tasks, medications and more. However, truly excellent home care is available.

Advice When Selecting Home Care

When hiring a home health care provider, the best way to ensure a good start is to actually meet with the caregiver(s) who will be assigned to your loved one. Don’t simply settle for talking to someone in an agency’s office and hope that they both understand your needs and will communicate those needs to their individual care-giving personnel.

An unfamiliar caregiver may need to fill in occasionally, but having certain people care for your loved one on a regular basis is best for everyone– especially for your senior family member who could become confused or upset by constantly changing caregivers entering their home.

By meeting with selected home care workers in advance of them staying with your loved one, you have the opportunity to get to know them a little, ask them important questions, and make your preferences known. Talking with them will most often remove your larger feelings of uncertainty. You may want to consider meeting them in a relaxed and neutral setting to discuss your situation. Doing this helps facilitate a friendly, in-depth and candid conversation.

One question that is always good to ask a potential caregiver is how they feel about the agency they work for. From a caregiver’s point of view, this can be perceived to be something of a delicate question. Usually it is a question best asked at the end of an interview rather than at the beginning. It should be posed somewhat casually. Most often, indirect or open ended questions are better than a direct approach. As the caregiver responds, pay close attention to their facial expressions and body language. The non-verbal cues you receive may contradict the actual words they are saying. Knowing their level of job satisfaction is important. Under-appreciated employees tend to harbor resentments and these resentments can all too often carry over into their work, which can take away from optimum care.

Anyone Can Have A Bad Day But Some People Should Be Replaced

Once you have hired a caregiver, whether you’ve done so through your own personal network or through that of an agency, problems may still develop– even if the initial interview went well. When a problem does occur, it’s always important to take time to think clearly in order to take a corrective action. If you resist emotionally overreacting, you can usually tell if the problem you are having stems from an honest, one time mistake, or if rather it’s a sign of an underlying negative attitude or a habitually careless approach to the work. When a problem does occur, engage the caregiver in conversation and ask nonjudgmental questions about the situation. Always avoid assigning any blame before you’ve asked enough questions to make a determination.

Of course, nothing is better than the frequent unannounced and random visit to your senior’s home to keep a caregiver “on their toes.” However, if you want an extra level of reassurance, security cameras (often called “Nannycams”) are recommended. These allow you to remotely view the interior of a home on your various devices. While Home and Hearth Caregivers does not endorse any specific product, this link will give you an idea of how easy these cameras are to set up and use, as well as how effective they can be.

How To Take Action For Improvement

You might have a good caregiver, but still experience problems due to poor communication. Perhaps all that is needed to straighten things out is a thoughtful discussion.

You might have a caregiver whose personality or abilities are not a good match with the needs of either you or your loved one. Or, you may have gotten a person who is simply not good at providing in-home care services in a professional and competent manner. In either of these cases, see your agency about assigning different caregivers to your loved one. In contacting the agency, no matter how bad your issue may be, speaking politely and firmly will increase the chances of a fast and satisfactory resolution.

If, after you have attempted to address any specific concerns or problems directly with your current caregivers, you still don’t feel they understand or that they don’t take your wishes and concerns seriously, consult with their immediate supervisor. A good agency will care about your satisfaction, and assign employees who can better match your needs. Sometimes you can work past an undesirable employee or a communication block by asking to talk to a different person, but know that if multiple people at an agency are not solving your caregiver problems– and solving them fast– it’s time to look for a different agency.

Share The News, Both Good And Bad

If you feel certain that you’ve experienced a bad in-home caregiver agency, you may want to warn others. However, don’t forget to share your good experiences as well. Surely you would be encouraged if in your research on a potential in-home care provider revealed stories of quality service and positive experiences. When you post a positive review, you’re not only helping others find great care, you’re extending appreciation and thanks to your individual caregiver(s) for their exemplary service.

If You Need Better Home Care . . .

At Home and Hearth Caregivers, we are proud and honored to be staffed with a large number of kind, caring, capable, hardworking, and friendly in-home caregivers. If you need help in the home, our very first promise to you is truly basic: it is to listen closely.

Contact us and we’ll start listening.
Call Us Today:
Corporate Address:
6432 Joliet Road
Countryside, IL

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