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Senior Home Care: What To Look For
September 8, 2016 by Living Assistance Services - Senior Home Care
Senior Home Care
Access to home care varies greatly throughout Canada. Many rural communities have little or no access to services, while cities may have a large range of choices available. The Greater Toronto Area is one of the best-served regions of the country, with virtually every type of personal home care – including first rate senior home care – available at all times.
However, it’s important to research your home care options carefully. Some home care agencies provide only limited types of services, or can only offer a few hours of assistance per week. If you are dependent on government funding, you may only be eligible to engage caregivers from certain agencies. (More information about funding can be found on government websites, such as this Ontario Ministry of Health site.)
However, if you are able to choose a top-notch agency to provide your home care, you’ll have a wide range of services and times available to you. Premier agencies also provide benefits like choice, 24/7 availability, and certified personnel.
Assessing Your Needs
The first step is to evaluate your own home care needs. Bear in mind that the goal of home care is to help seniors remain as independent as possible. Perhaps very little assistance is needed – a ride to the grocery store once a week, for example, or help getting to medical appointments. Or maybe the care recipient is experiencing difficulty with daily tasks such as bathing and grooming. In these cases, you could hire someone on a regular but limited basis. A few hours one day a week in the first instance, and a daily morning visit in the second case would be sufficient.
On the other hand, it may be that you have been recently released from hospital and are recovering from an illness or operation. In this case you might need round-the-clock home care for a short period of time that tapers off as you get well.
Or, you could be experiencing progression of a debilitating condition, in which case you might want a substantial amount of help that evolves to live-in support as your condition changes.
Finding the Right Care
Good home care agencies will send a registered nurse to perform an initial assessment of their own, and may offer suggestions that will work for you. While some agencies send caregivers from their roster on a rotating basis (as they are available), better agencies provide you with one primary caregiver. Premium agencies will try to match you with a PSW who shares your mother tongue, culture, values, hobbies, or interests. Some home care agencies will send several candidates and allow you to make the final choice and will employ a Registered Nurse as an advisor and supervisor.
When interviewing agencies, make sure the one you choose has a rigorous employee screening process (including police checks and reference checks). Your caregiver should have PSW training and a certificate from a recognized college, general insurance, and coverage under Worker’s Compensation.
Look for flexibility and accountability in the agency’s policies, with regularly scheduled “check-ins” to make sure you are receiving the service you deserve.
A little support from a PSW can help you retain your independence and self-esteem. Contact a premium Living Assistance Agency in your area today and learn more about how home care can add to your quality of life!
Living Assistance Services – Senior Home Care