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Finding the Right Person

Home health agencies send who they have because the scope is limited in providing unskilled care and the law thinks that the best way to provide this is by requiring agencies to staff the home health aide. Perhaps sometimes it works, but we’ve seen nothing but problems mostly with incompatibility of the entire arrangement. ICONNEL believes in finding the best match available from a relationship perspective, with consideration of the whole person and his/her environment. It is patience testing for everyone because capable caregivers are not hired for simply reasons of personal preference. For example, there are elderly men (especially certain Dementia and Alzheimer’s clients) who behave badly when a presentable and pleasant female caregiver shows up. They forget they’re married, and if the man’s wife still lives in the family, you now have the additional requirement of diplomacy. Sending a male caregiver in this situation requires consent of his living spouse, and the caregiver must not remind the elderly man of anyone in his past. We had an elderly male client who hired by their children who retained Power of Attorney. On the caregiver’s first day of work, upon meeting his senior beneficiary, was immediately reprimanded for not doing his job right even before the job started. We found out later that the client thought that the caregiver was a former employee of his. Today’s media has been focusing on harassment and assault matters seriously, but these issues have been nothing new to the elderly care industry. The health care industry’s institutionalized answer is very legal and procedural. Chances are that the typical senior who is at the stage of needing care won’t understand it.

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