Home healthcare agencies are helping thousands of seniors stay in their own homes longer than they would have thirty-plus years ago. This is a good thing, since most seniors and elderly patients are trying to cope with dementia, and placing them in out-of-home care situations hinders their ability to remember and keep up with routines they know well. If you need to hire a home healthcare agency, you should be aware of what you can request of that agency.
Many adult children caring for aging parents do not realize that they can make special requests. You certainly can. Here are a few requests you can make, well within your rights, for the care and well-being of your aging parents.
Special Requests Regarding Staff
If you find that certain staff do not get along with your elderly parents, you can request that those staff be assigned elsewhere. Conversely, if you find staff that get along with your parents perfectly, you can make special requests of the agency for those staff to work exclusively with your parents.
Special Healthcare Needs
Some clients need more than just the standard care provided by most agencies. If your parent requires IV medication or injected medication, these tasks are often relegated to registered nurses and regulated by the state. In some states, agencies are required to have at least one registered nurse on their staff of visiting nurses for this very reason.
If you cannot find a healthcare agency that has a registered nurse on staff (which is highly unusual), you need to select the agency that is most willing to hire a part-time registered nurse to fit your parent's needs. Then request that they find a vetted registered nurse for special medication administration. It may take a little time, but it should not take longer than a week or two after you have hired the agency for help.
More Housecleaning, Less Medical Care
If your elderly parents just need a little extra help, you can request that the home healthcare agency provide more nursing aides who can keep the house tidy and provide meals instead a lot of nursing. This is actually quite a common request, especially for elderly patients who are unable to move around due to surgery or extremely painful arthritis. Typically, at least one hour of each of these shifts is dedicated to client needs, while the rest of the time is spent on housekeeping.