An excellent article by Audrey Miller, re-posted from AllAboutEstates.ca
As a Geriatric Care Manager I assist families in making plans for their future. In-home care is a service that many families need. While the public sector does what it can in providing in home care to eligible families, it is simply, not enough.
Families often have to supplement publicly provided in home care with privately paid care. People can require assistance for a few hours a week to 24 hours per day. Understanding what the care recipient’s needs are, is the first step. I have linked an article written for the RBC Advice Site, under Seniors, Finance & Caregiving called Hiring Help At Home-What You Need To Know , an easy to read article highlighting available options.
Personal Support Workers (PSW) can make the difference in helping a family better cope with their caregiving responsibilities. Hiring the ‘right’ PSW to assist in your home is of paramount importance to the care-recipient’s wellbeing, safety, security and dignity and can make all the difference to the primary caregiver who is likely also juggling their own responsibilities as a spouse, parent, adult child, and employee/employer. While hiring privately may be less expensive on an hourly basis, I always recommend that families consider hiring from a reputable local home care provider and here’s why.
-Home Care Companies hire their own caregivers who are employees of the company
-They follow an in depth hiring process covering criminal & vulnerable sector, driver and reference checks. First Aid, CPR and PSW and health care aide certificate verification and finally confirmation of caregiver work history
-Companies are bonded and insured with professional liability and personal property damage insurance policies
-Cover Work Place Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) rules and regulations
-Cover caregivers Canadian Pension Plan (CPP) contributions
-Cover caregivers Employment Insurance (EI)
-Cover caregiver Vacation Pay (4%)
-Comprehensive Policies and Procedures governing services and client and caregiver relationships and detailed record keeping (communication binders in the each home).
-Preferred companies have a code of ethics which they must adhere to
-Preferred companies have access to a large pool of caregivers to meet the client’s needs
if a caregiver is sick or away on holiday the organization can put another caregiver in their place immediately
-Organizations should be able to provide testimonials or references
-They provide in home assessments and caregiver checks.
Well trained Personal Support Workers to date, have traditionally not been paid what they deserve. The first step is for the community to understand the important role that they play in supporting seniors and their families. Ensuring a high level of training and professionalism is incumbent on every home health care company so that respect for the caregiving-care recipient dyad is reciprocal. For more information, please see the attached position paper from the Ontario Home Care Association, Why Choose a Quality Home Care Organization and this short How To Hire A PSW video.
Audrey Miller MSW, RSW, CCRC, CCLCP is the founder and managing director of Elder Caring Inc., a national consulting company dedicated to delivering comprehensive health and wellness solutions to Canadian families with elder care and health concerns. As a Registered Social Worker, a Canadian Certified Rehabilitation Counsellor, and a Canadian Certified Life Care Planner, Audrey counsels families, employers, financial institutions, law firms and insurance companies on aging issues. Learn more at www.eldercaring.ca.