Seniors with functional limitations do best with consistent providers of care. Constantly changing faces cause confusion, frustration and significant risk of complications. Although this seems self-evident, there is in fact considerable scientific evidence supporting the importance of consistency in care providers.
Imagine a vulnerable elderly client greeting an unfamiliar Home Care Aide one morning. One of the first tasks of the day will be the morning bath. How comfortable is that senior likely to be? And how fatiguing will it be to explain where everything is, go over the daily routine, communicate meal preferences, etc. etc.? Now imagine a client with dementia in the same situation.
Of course, starting home care always entails getting to know a new caregiver at first. Comfort and familiarity take a little time to develop. However, in an ideal world, recipients of home care assistance should be able to count on one primary caregiver, relieved only occasionally with care-fully prepared substitutes.
The real world, however, is far from the ideal. It is not unusual for home care companies to “cover” their scheduling obligations by assigning different caregivers to the same client over the course of each week. In some companies home care workers are given a different schedule every week.
In addition most home care companies limit employees to 40 hours a week, thus denying them overtime pay. A client requiring assistance for 12 hours each day would therefore have in the best of circumstances at least two, perhaps three difference caregivers every week. Add emergency “fill-ins” and the number could be higher.
At Ready Hands, we strive to match each client with a single primary Home Care Aide (or two, when 24-hour care is provided). They are generally relieved on alternating weekends. The arrangement works well for both our clients, who need the predictability and consistency, and our employees, who need the income. We pay our employees competitively and assure continuity for those who depend on our services, while holding our charges at or below prevailing norms.
Elderly care recipients require caregiver continuity. We have always understood that.