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10 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Non-Medical Home Health Caregiver

February 23, 2012

With the advances in medical research and treatment people are living longer than ever, but it doesn't necessary mean that they are living healthier. Chronic diseases together with decline in mental capacity pose problems that past generations didn't have to deal with.

The top five chronic diseases are: diabetes, hypertension, musculoskeletal diseases, heart problems, arthritis and pulmonary diseases. These conditions do not discriminate; they affect young and old but in growing numbers when a person ages.

What are the questions you need to ask yourself before hiring a non-medical home health caregiver?

1. Activities of daily living (ADL) include six important stepping stones: bathing and dressing, using the toilet, transportation, eating and walking. How many of those have been impacted?

2. How does the person who is limited in his or her ADLs react to the suggestion of bringing someone to help them in their most intimate situations?

3. What programs are available to help with ADL? In Minnesota, Medical Assistance pays for Home Care Services including Personal Care Services, so the question might be does the person qualify for Medical Assistance?

4. What kind of care is needed? If you are not sure what level of professional help is needed, a reputable non-medical home health company can help you make the right decision.

5. How would bringing another person to do some of the chores of daily life impact the family caregiver? Will it alleviate the pressure this person is under? The children of aging parents who live far away are unable to extend help on a moment's notice, and having someone reliable there to help consistently often is a great relief.

6. How will a non-medical caregiver impact the mental condition of the person? Will the knowledge that someone is about to come to the house get an elderly person out of bed in the morning? Will companionship and having someone to talk to improve the quality of life of the person who needs care?

7. Will the non-medical home health assistant enable family members to spent more quality time with the person and not be constantly busy with performing chores on top of living his own life?

8. More than 12 million Americans are receiving non-medical home health assistance and it has become one of the most popular ways of keeping elderly parents in their home longer. Will it do the same in your situation?

9. What is the cost of non-medical home health caregiver compared with other alternatives?

10. Would the loved one benefit from home cooked meals? From eating a balanced diet? From taking the medication on a timely manner?

If the answer to most of these question is “yes”, it's time to look for a home care agency that can provide the help needed to insure that the parent, sibling, child or friend gets the care they need to live a productive and happy life.

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