By Maria Burke
I believe that health care is a dynamic, therapeutic, and educational process that continues to evolve, particularly with the ever changing advances in the medical field. With that, I think home health care agencies have a responsibility to meet certain basic criteria.
Client Care is Paramount
The first, most significant factor is that the client’s health and well-being be of paramount importance. Home health care professionals and caretakers want to make this their number one goal. I think it’s easy today to occasionally lose sight of that, particularly with the growing need to cut costs and maximize resources.
Customized care programs work best because each individual requiring in-home care has their own set of unique needs. In addition, their family members also have particular needs and expectations for their loved one’s home care. That’s why the initial assessments should be done by either someone within the organization who has a strong stake in the company, and beyond that, has a clinical background. Clinicians or professionally trained, skilled medical staff have the insight, experience, and ability to provide comprehensive assessments, adding tremendous value for both the client and their family.
In-home care extends beyond the client’s medical needs. As home care professionals, we want to consider a client’s physical and behavioral issues including mental and emotional status and even, in some circumstances, the person’s spiritual wellbeing and religious beliefs.
The typical process includes a thorough assessment; leading to a diagnosis; possibly some type of medical, physical or behavioral intervention; and finally an evaluation of the client’s situation.
Training and Continuing Education
With strict HIPPA rules and closely monitored government privacy regulations, it is vital that the home health care agencies maintain pertinent client records. Home health care professionals, whether they are Registered Nurses, CNAs or home health aides, need to have proper professional training and certification before they enter a client’s home. They are responsible for educating the client and their family and maintaining documentation. They have a responsibility to the client and their family members to notify them about any community resources available to them in terms of rehabilitation or convalescent care.
We’re fortunate because we have an on-site training facility for new home health care aides. We provide orientation, training, certification, and continuing education for all our in-home health care personnel. As the role of the health care worker changes with expanded health programs, cost-effective hospital management, and professional development, we continue to stand by our philosophy of operating in a client-centered environment. I believe the best way to achieve that is through the hiring of talented, compassionate health care professionals and paraprofessionals who are passionate about servicing the elderly and enjoy working with other spirited individuals.
About the Author. Maria Burke, owner of Celtic Angels Home Health Care, was born in Midleton, County Cork, Ireland. She is the eldest of six and immigrated to the United States in 1988 to pursue a nursing degree to become a registered nurse. She served as a visiting nurse and form there, launched her own home health company. Celtic Angels has two offices: Weymouth and Needham and services hundreds of elderly people across Massachusetts with a variety of services including skilled nursing, homemaking services and home health aide and CNA care services.
Reprinted from the April 2019 edition of the South Shore Senior News.