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How to chose home aid?

Posted by CathyId (My Page) on
Tue, Aug 23, 05 at 12:15

What are your thoughts on how to find a home health care aid? I don't even know what to ask! My son is a paraplegic and now has had a stroke. He needs more care than I am physically able to give him at this point. He is 45, so you know I am not as young as I once was either. LOL Mostly it will be for bathing and hygene purposes and to give me a break a couple hours a week while they are here. I know it is important to be licesed and bonded, background checked, drug tested and I want someone skilled. I want an establised company, a set schedule and hopefully the same person as much as possible. Am I on the right t rack? Please share your thoughts and experiences with me.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: How to chose home aid?

Well Cathy, I can only tell you what I have had to deal with, not for my son who is a quad, but for my parents who needed aids.
For the bathing, do you have a wheelchair shower, or use the bath bench? Most aids will do the bathing, but you do have to have some experience.
Hygine is another subject, being a para, I am assuming your son uses a catheter, there is a subject you will definitely have to check the company rules. Some aids are trained in catheters others are not.
To just give you a break, that is easy, even in my little town they will come out, sit with them, feed them, play games, talk, whatever. However they are NOT allowed to give medication, treat wounds, or basically do anything medical to the patient. Now when our son was injured in 1984 the cost was 8$ an hour, and I only made 4$ an hour, so you can see why I took the job myself. :)
When I was told my dad needed 24/7 care, an aid, not a nurse the cost was more than a nursing home for his problem.
I am afraid the cost figured into our decisions more than anything.

If you don't mind, why don't you drop me a line:

I will be glad to write you and fill you in if you have any questions. Some questions are more private? than you want to post.

RE: How to chose home aid?

:) I was a CNA right out of high school, and went from nursing home work to private duty because I couldn't deal with nursing home administrators who defined 'quality of life' by their own convenience rather than their client's previous lives.

we also went through a run of aides, helpers, companions, and whatnot with my grandmother (7 strokes in 2 years, not much left of a dame made of spring steel by then)

part of it is what your insurance is willing to work with/what you can afford.

I've been in situations where a 16 year old foster kid with dreams of becoming a geriatric nurse was infinately preferrable over any trained aide we found...skills can be acquired, but the instinct for healing is just that, an instinct, and while that didn't last as long as we would have liked (she would have stayed with us past graduation, but her mom sobered up long enough to regain custody, and we had to give her up)

the agency I worked for the longest was Bayada, but I don't know if they're national...but they took their job seriously, and expected us to take OUR job seriously... I loved the admin team, and they were totally willing to play to my talents, and steer me where I could do the most good.

you might also want to ask your doctor- especially the older ones very often have a collection of folks who pay off their bills by 'doing for' other patients (which makes more sense to me that all the health insurance in the world)

RE: How to chose home aid?

Hi You are definitely on the right tract. If you trhink you want an agency,you might start with the Yellow Pages or recommendations from friends. An agency person will be more expensive, but all that checking and some training will be done. The agency likely will NOT 1. send a person fully skilled in all your son needs 2. have a substitute if the person is absent. At least that was my experience. Plan to be there the first few times the person comes, just to evaluate and help out. Is your son mentally OK...If so he can give instruction and also monitor the situation even tho he is physically challenged. If not, your task is more difficult. Look up "Home care"or "Nursing" to find an agency. There are many, esp if you are in a city of size. Good luck and Welcome! DerryW

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