With over 33,000 private home-care providers and nurse registries in the U.S., it sometimes becomes a difficult job to find the right fit. unless one asks these questions as supplied by a Federal agency:

  1. How do you recruit caregivers and what are your requirements?
  2. What types of screenings are performed on caregivers before they are eligible to be referred to families? Criminal background check–federal or state? Drug screening? Other?
  3. Are they certified in CPR or do they have any health-related training?
  4. Are the caregivers insured and bonded?
  5. What competencies can be expected of the caregiver you refer to a family? (These could include lifting and transfers, homemaking skills, personal care skills such as bathing, dressing, toileting, training in behavioral management and cognitive support.)
  6. How do you assess what the caregiver is capable of doing?
  7. What is your policy of referring a substitute caregiver, upon my request, if a regular caregiver cannot provide the contracted services?
  8. If there is dissatisfaction with a particular caregiver, can I request a substitute  referral?

(These questions from a study funded by grant from the National Institute on Aging of the National Institutes of Health were revised to apply to nurse registries)

Caregiver Case Studies

Over the next 12 months or longer, we will be presenting a series of Florida First SHC actual case histories with our clients and their corresponding provider and what actually happened, using pseudonyms to protect the parties involved, in the following format:

THE CLIENT: An 85-year-old woman with heart deficiencies who had gone to the hospital to have a new procedure to help correct the situation. Unfortunately, the procedure did not work and other situations were created which left her in worse shape than when she had gone to the hospital.

After a week in the hospital, after she almost didn’t make it, she returned home and a caregiver had to be found to help her recovery since there was no one in the family to serve as a caregiver. In addition to the wife, the caregiver also watched out for the husband, who also had been in the hospital a week before the wife went in, although his only need seemed to be with balance. So she technically was used for both the husband’s and wife’s recovery.

THE CAREGIVER: Florida First was called as the woman’s husband saw an ad in a local condo newsletter promoting the company. Both owners came to visit the couple and to discuss not only what the company had done with other clients, their background in the field and how they would work with the insurance company to ensure their policy would cover all financial costs.

The couple decided to engage the company to refer a caregiver, who the couple interviewed the next day.

This caregiver’s manner, positive answers to questions posed to her by the couple and her long-time experience seemed satisfactory. In addition, she was available immediately, which also helped make a decision to engage her since the need was most urgent.

HOW IT WORKED OUT: The caregiver came on time the next morning and proceeded to work with the wife in a very professional manner in helping her with her toilet, shower, applying creams on her skin which had formed a rashand got to learn the routine the couple maintained…time of eating, places to go (food market, bank, doctor appointments and medication management).

At that time, the couple also learned a great deal about the caregiver’s life and what she was doing currently by finishing up her nursing courses at a local school. The couple was going to celebrate their 65th anniversary in a few weeks after they engaged this caregiver and decided to take her with them to the celebration week-end at a local entertainment complex with the rest of the familyand of course, the need for her to drive them to this center which was an hour away from the client’s home. It worked perfectly.

After two months, the caregiver approached the clients telling them of her need to withdraw from their care since she needed a few days each week off over the next few months for some required courses to finish up her degree in nursing.

While disappointed in this new situation and when advising the nurse registry of what happened and requesting another referral, Florida First readily referred a new caregiver almost immediately (it happened to be the night caregiver the clients had who eagerly accepted her new daylight hours of  7:30 am to 7:30 pm.) This particular caregiver quickly adapted to the routine described above and is currently still working with the client. The client reports that they are most pleased with this caregiver who has become like “one of the family.”

For more information on senior healthcare in Delray Beach, FL and a visit with one of the owners of our company (John Katelman or Brad Jaffe) in your home, please call us at 561-279-5470.