One of the greatest long-term needs of older adults and those with chronic illnesses is for in-home, custodial care services.
These workers are often referred to as home health aides, certified nursing assistants and custodial care workers. These in-home workers make it possible for people with functional limitations to remain at home in a comfortable, familiar environment. Home health aides (as we will refer to this class of workers) provide a wide range of assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs), such as bathing, dressing, grooming, assisting with ambulation or transferring, toileting, feeding and providing medication reminders.
In addition, home health aides help with what professionals call, instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs), such as shopping, meal preparation, making medical appointments, transportation, laundry and companionship. While it is true that most people would prefer to remain in their own homes, there are circumstances in which care in a residential or nursing facility is more appropriate and more cost-effective. For example, the individual who needs round the clock care because of treatments or behavioral issues will find a nursing facility or residential setting likely to be more affordable.
The biggest proportion of people who utilize home health aide services are those who need several hours per day of assistance, as opposed to those who need full-time care. Due to the cost and the increasing shortage of home health aides, many families seeking to hire in-home staff turn to private individuals rather than working through an agency.
While at first glance this seems reasonable, it can also cause numerous problems and create unexpected liabilities for the family, who becomes the employer. For the entire article please go to the September issue of PRO’s Newsworthy Notes.