If your elderly parents are experiencing some challenges with living independently but aren't yet ready to move into a retirement home or nursing home, it's ideal to think about contacting a health agency, like Cornerstone Hospice and Palliative Care, and arranging some in-home care. A health aide can visit your parents at specified times -- or a team of aides can stay with them around the clock -- to provide a wide range of health services. Given that you'll often play a role in hiring the right person for the job, it's important to visit the health agency to meet prospective aides, hear about their expertise and also ask some questions. Here are three topics that you should bring up.
Handling Of Emergencies
It's beneficial to ask each health aide you interview to tell you about some emergencies he or she encountered with other patients and how they were handled. It's ideal if some of them overlap with concerns you might have about a parent's health -- for example, if one parent is a fall risk, specifically ask how the aide has helped fallen patients in the past. Hearing some of these examples can help instill confidence in the aide's ability; you want to hear how he or she followed protocol, kept the patient comfortable and calm and acted quickly in the face of changing circumstances.
Tenure And Future Plans
Don't feel nosy asking how long the aide has worked with the current agency and how long he or she expects to stay in this role. It's important to learn this information because it can demonstrate stability, which is something that can be beneficial to your parents. If the aide has been employed by the service for several years, professes to love the work and has no plans to change employers, it's ideal because your parents will be able to develop a bond with the aide and you won't have to worry about having to find another one to hire after the current one leaves.
Services Not Covered
In-home health aides are able to provide a wide range of services; your meeting will typically reveal all the things that the aide can do for your parents. It's also valuable to ensure that you're clean on the services that the aide doesn't provide so that you can seek alternate arrangements to complement the aide's care. For example, if the aide cannot make food for your parents, you may wish to hire a food delivery service.