The call you feared was coming and were thankful every day – until today – that it had not.  Mom has fallen and broken a hip.  The adult siblings have been talking for several years about the condition of the mid-60’s house she lives in.  The “kids” have been helping around when possible, but the conversations more recently have turned to “getting Mom some help”.

The idea of having a “stranger” in the home was not a happy subject for Mom.  She did not want “just anyone” in her home but none of the other family members’ lives were structured such that anyone could be consistently available.  It was time for help.  “Home Care” it is commonly called.  Sometimes there is resistance on the part of the subject of such help, yet, as family, it is necessary to have strategies to help our loved ones make those positive, forward thinking decisions.  Breaking a hip can change all of the conversation pretty quickly.

The question then becomes, what if the accident did not need to happen?  Part of Home Care is making sure the environment in which the client lives is safe.  Removing throw rugs, for example.  An extra set of trained eyes can eliminate accidents.  Getting professional home care before the accident makes everyone’s life much easier.

Home care can be called many things: Companion care, non-medical home care, Personal Care or Respite Care.  When dealing with injuries or other chronic illnesses, the term “Home Health Care” is used and the providers of these services are medically trained.

When considering an agency, the following questions may prove helpful:

  • Does the agency introduce the caregiver to you before assigning him or her to your case?
  • Does the agency communicate with you if there is a change in caregivers?
  • Does the agency make regular supervisory visits?
  • Does the agency coordinate care with your healthcare providers?
  • Does the agency meet state requirements for criminal background checks for caregivers?
  • Can you speak to the office supervisor at any time?
  • If you need them, what is their response time?
  • Is their pricing firm or do they quote one price and then add in extra fees?
  • Can the agency help you find other resources in the community?
  • How does the agency train their caregivers?

You want to be able to trust the person that will be with your loved one while you are out. As with many things in life, planning will be the key to successfully finding someone for that person in your life needing assistance.