Finding the perfect home health aides is no mean feat.
When searching for you or your loved one, an aide that ‘clicks’ with the client can make a world of difference to the client, for both their mental health and physical health.
Speaking at Brooklyn Borough Hall, CEO of Medicare & Medicaid Advisory Group Ginalisa Monterroso says that communication is key to finding the ideal aide.
Monterroso’s daughter, Tara (23) was born with Down syndrome. After navigating the system and finding the perfect home health aide for Tara, Ms. Monterroso shares what the experience taught her; as both a mother and healthcare expert.
“It’s so important to find the right home health aide, and to put a schedule in place in order to make it happen and make it work,” she said.
“It’s not an easy job and we have to be fair to see that we’re giving them the right tools.”
It is important to her that the home health aide working with Tara would actively engage with her.
“There should be rules. My rule is no cell phones. My daughter has Down syndrome and is non-verbal. Home health aides should be engaging with their clients, and doing things like playing cards. A plan has to be put in place to ensure your loved one gets the care they need.
“And if they don’t follow the rules, call the home health agency. We had one client who was sent 30 home health aides! You do have that option and you do have that choice.”
To ensure you stand out to the agency, make sure to introduce yourself to the staff and your case manager.
Monterroso explains: “This can open up a dialogue and ensure that you stand out and they’ll remember who this client is, because they do get a lot of clients!”
What does a home health aide do for you?
Basically all of the day-to-day things you need, except distributing medication.
- Light cleaning
- Grocery shopping
- Accompany you to doctors appointments
- Medication reminders
- Meal preparation
- Assistance dressing
- Assistance transferring (getting up and out of bed/chair)
- Toileting and incontinence care
- Grooming, shaving, and doing your hair
- Assistance with walking
- And more!
Make sure to give your aides a warm welcome to your home, make them comfortable.
Another route you can go down is the CDPAP program.
You’re allowed to pick whoever you like to be your caregiver, except your spouse. They don’t even need a licence or any form of training. They can make roughly $17 per hour, and roughly $19 per hour for overtime. For a 24 shift, the minimum amount of aides that can cover this is 2. For split shifts every 12 hours, the minimum is 3.
When you or your loved ones begin getting home care however, be aware of how the agencies can swindle you.
“The issue we’re seeing more and more is that homecare agencies are controlling your home health aide’s scheduling becuase they don’t want to pay overtime,” Monterroso says.
“Make sure you control the schedule. They do this because they are given funding for each person they bring on. The dark side to this is that home health aides aren’t getting their 40 hours per week of work for fear that they’ll do overtime, so their schedule is limited. What many don’t realize is that by 24 hours on the 4th day, you’re entitled to overtime.
“What ends up happening then is that you have too many aides coming through and you have Grand Central Station in your home. This is not what we paid into.”
For expert advice on Medicare, Medicaid and Home care, give us a call on 646-745-9122 for a free consultation.
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