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User Guide Private Home Care Services and Attendant Care Private home care services are those services that are provided by non-family members and are generally paid for privately by the family. The person providing this care may be called an attendant, caregiver, nurse’s aide, and sometimes companion, depending on where you live. Caregivers can be hired by the hour, but often require a minimum number of hours (on average 3). This is not to be confused with Home Health Care Services that is sometimes provided by the hospital after a discharge, and is provided by an insurance benefit. Generally, home care services can be offered in 4 ways: privately, through a private agency, as a live-in caregiver (found privately or through an agency), or through a community/government program. There are advantages and disadvantages with each service delivery. The options differ depending on where you live.

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It is not uncommon for attendants to have nurse’s licenses in other countries but not be licensed in your country; this can be advantageous for you since you may be able to hire a caregiver with RN training for less than it would cost to hire a RN. More often than not, your loved one does not need a licensed RN to provide their care. Attendants can be trained to do many caregiving responsibilities, including feeding tubes, foley catheters, suctioning, etc. Be sure to ask the agency, your doctor or hospital what level of care they think your loved one requires. How do I find a caregiver or attendant?

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You can hire a private caregiver or attendant, or find an agency through a few methods. • Simply, you can look on the internet under “home care”, “attendant care”, “nurse’s aide”, “nurse’s assistant”, for your area, and many agencies will have websites to view. • You can also look in the Yellow Pages under “home care”. • In addition, new search engines such as “Craig’s List” often have private individuals advertising. • Ask your friends for referrals.

Erickson Resource Group – stephanie@ericksonresource.com / www.ericksonresource.com t: 514-795-7377 EST ©2009 Erickson Resource Group - All rights reserved. No content contained within this document may be reused without prior written permission.


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Ask for referrals from professionals (hospital social worker, nurse, community agency, etc.) Look in the local newspaper Look at our website under Resources to view your local resources.

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Individual Private Caregiver or Attendant The individual is found by you through an advertisement in the paper via the internet or word of mouth.

Advantages: • Less costly. • You may know of their work and their moral character from their work with someone you know. • They may be a family member or close friend. • They will most likely be able to drive.

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Disadvantages: • There is no agency supervising their work. • You may have no reference for work ethic, trustworthiness, etc. • They are not licensed or bonded and have not had a background check. • You may not be able to “claim” their services as a tax write-off. • If this person is unable to make a shift, there is no alternative in place. • You have to hire, train, supervise and organize the scheduling.

Private Agency Caregiver or Attendant You hire an agency to locate and engage the services of a caregiver or attendant

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Advantages: • They have been screened, (sometimes fingerprinted) and trained • There is on-going supervision. • If the primary caregiver is unable to make a shift, the agency arranges for an alternative person. • If you are unhappy with the person for any reason (i.e. personality differences) the agency arranges for an alternate person. • The agency is responsible for their behavior (stealing, etc.). • Tax receipt given. • If you have Long Term Care insurance, the services may be able to be billed to your insurance.

Erickson Resource Group – stephanie@ericksonresource.com / www.ericksonresource.com t: 514-795-7377 EST ©2009 Erickson Resource Group - All rights reserved. No content contained within this document may be reused without prior written permission.


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Disadvantages: • More costly • You may have less choice as to who the caregiver will be; however, you should be allowed to interview more than one person from an agency if you choose to do so.

Live-in Caregiver or Attendant One person is given a room in your loved one’s home and lives there full time. This person can be hired privately or through an agency. Advantages: • Less costly on a per week rate vs. hiring at an hourly rate. • Your loved one can establish a strong relationship with just one person. • There is always someone available for your parent.

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Disadvantages: • Loss of privacy. • The live-in will be entitled to time off and you must arrange for care in their absence. • You may need to hire a second caregiver for the weekend shift to allow for the weekday caregiver to have his/her entitled time off. • Have to adapt your home to allow for the caregiver to have a private room and bathroom. Government or Community Caregiver or Attendant Funded by the government or community program

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This is not available in all states/provinces. In some areas, the government may give you a list of resources, but you may have to find your own caregivers through alternate channels.

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Advantages: • Generally, free of charge or reduced rate • Caregivers are screened, trained and supervised • Scheduling of caregiver arranged by staff • At times, continuity of care with other health facilities (hospital, rehab centers, etc.) • In some states, your family member or friend can be your identified caregiver and can be paid to provide the services to your loved one. Erickson Resource Group – stephanie@ericksonresource.com / www.ericksonresource.com t: 514-795-7377 EST ©2009 Erickson Resource Group - All rights reserved. No content contained within this document may be reused without prior written permission.


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Disadvantages: • The number of hours your loved one is eligible is dependent on funding of agency at any given time and can fluctuate. • The same staff will most likely not be available for all days that service is requested. • High turnover of staff. • You will have to most likely supplement care. Before hiring the caregiver or attendant

Use the below forms to assist you in determining which caregiver, attendant or agency is right for you and your loved one.

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Private Caregiver or Attendant Interview Questions – This form structures your interview with each caregiver, giving you examples of the most important information to obtain. This form also gives you a place to take notes from each interview so you can easily review the content of each interview, avoiding any confusion later. Private Agency Interview Questions - This form structures your interview with each agency, giving you examples of the most important information to obtain. This form also gives you a place to take notes from each interview so you can easily review the content of each interview, avoiding any confusion later.

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Once the caregiver or attendant is hired

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There are many tools you can use to track your loved one’s daily activities and functioning. These tools also provide the caregivers with structure and supervision. You can purchase a folder and place these tools in the folder for each caregiver to complete at the end of their shift. Or, you can email the forms to them and ask them to fill them out and send them back to you.

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Medication schedule: Caregivers can track all the details of the medication administration. Staffing schedule: You can keep track of the caregiver’s schedules. This is useful if you are organizing more than one caregiver within a week’s time. Daily schedule – This form gives the caregiver structure in their day with your loved one, and allows you to supervise and be informed of how your loved one is functioning on a day to day basis.

Erickson Resource Group – stephanie@ericksonresource.com / www.ericksonresource.com t: 514-795-7377 EST ©2009 Erickson Resource Group - All rights reserved. No content contained within this document may be reused without prior written permission.


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Home Safety Checklist: This form is a complete list of all of the areas in your home that present a danger to your loved one, and outlines the factors that increase risk.

Erickson Resource Group – stephanie@ericksonresource.com / www.ericksonresource.com t: 514-795-7377 EST Š2009 Erickson Resource Group - All rights reserved. No content contained within this document may be reused without prior written permission.

Home Care – User Guide  

A complete guide to home care services: Outlines the different ways to receive home care and the benefits and disadvantages of each way.