Full Time, Part Time, or Now and Again: What Frequency of Home Care Do You Need?

| Saturday, February 26, 2011
By John Smith

When most people think of home care, they have one specific kind in mind: the worker that either lives in the house with the elderly person or is there for at least eight hours a day every day. However, there are actually a lot of different options when it comes to choosing a frequency of home care. If you feel like you'd like a little help with the daily things in your life, but have been hesitating to call for a home care service, then here are a few things you can consider.

First, be clear with your expectations. You should know what a home care worker does and what they are not legally or contractually supposed to do so that you don't end up annoyed or disappointed if they don't meet your expectations. A good way to do this is to go over your contract with the agency or worker and work out your needs and expectations beforehand; that way everyone is clear as to what is expected of the worker and of you.

With all these options then, how do you know what kind of plan you need? An easy way to determine this is by looking at the frequency of visits you would need. For example, if you have very serious health issues and need someone nearby pretty much all the time to help with routine tasks, then you may want to consider a full-time plan. However, if you just need help with errands then a bi-weekly might be better.

Though most home care workers are very caring and professional, it's just silly to leave yourself open to identity theft or fraud by leaving things like that out. Finally, you need to make your boundaries clear to the home care worker in a polite, but firm way. If there is an area of the house that you don't want them to go in, or if you would like them to leave certain things alone, then tell them -- most home care workers will appreciate the honesty.

Finally, don't be afraid to let them go if it's not working out. You deserve the best possible care, and if a worker is treating you in any way that you do not like or do not feel comfortable with, then you need to get a new one. It is always better to be safe than sorry with situations like this, so make sure you take all reasonable precautions before you get involved with a home care worker, and don't be afraid to start over if it's not working out. Your health and safety should be your top concern and you deserve nothing less than a legitimate, experienced health care worker who can provide you with the physical, emotional, and social support you need.

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