DON’T BE WOOED BY FALSE PROMISES FROM YOUR NON-MEDICAL HOME CARE AGENCY
When I speak to a family about what non-medical home care can deliver for many it’s an education process. Most people that reach out to me are placing their first call ever to inquire about their loved one needing assistance. They feel lost and overwhelmed. They depend on myself and our office staff to guide them through the process. Most families are not aware of what the scope of care is that we can bring into a home or the level of expertise. Some underestimate what a non-medical agency can do and others may overestimate the level of care, skill and type of staff we employ.
I feel that by the end of the conversation they can feel confident in knowing what we provide. A non-medical home care agency can provide a companion to your loved one to visit, cook, do light housekeeping, laundry, medication reminders, run errands and drive your loved one to and from appointments. They can assist with a person’s personal care needs, with bathing, dressing, toileting and incontinence care. We can further assist with a Hoyer lift (with a Certified Nursing Assistant), emptying and sanitizing of a catheter or colostomy bag, assisting in transfers and ambulating your loved one. They can provide some hospice support in conjunction with a hospice agency. They also can engage and redirect a person with dementia, provide additional support in helping your loved one to keep their mind exercised as well as their body to keep them at their most optimum health. While a the same time, keeping a well-balanced line in helping your loved one to remain independent in any and all aspect of their daily lives.
These services are provided under the direction of a management and supervision team in our internal office staff. We do not have RN’s or LPN’s that work for us and supervise the caregivers or our clients care as this is not how a non-medical home care agency in Connecticut is allowed to be registered and operated under the state’s guidelines with the Department of Consumer Protection. I always clarify with families that we can do a lot for their loved one, but we cannot provide skilled nursing care. This is what a home health care agency is for, commonly known as visiting nurses or skilled nursing care. Skilled care is nursing care that means more than just PT, OT, and speech. It is provided by trained medical professional and includes managing complicated and skilled therapy care. It compliments a non-medical home care agency and we are not synonymous in what we provide.
It infuriates those of us who operate correctly under Connecticut’s guidelines that there are families who call other agencies and are falsely promised the moon by other non-medical home care companies.
I was recently at a networking meeting amongst my peers when one of my competitors stood up and announced that not only did they have a nurse on staff to supervise the care of their clients but that they could manage and care for a feeding tube and a tracheotomy. I think the hair on the necks of many of my fellow co-horts stood on end as we listened to this person’s speech of making false promises and potentially putting the lives of their clients in jeopardy.
I want people to understand that if a company is offering skilled care they must be licensed as such in the State of Connecticut. There are certain aspects and oversights that go into this type of care overseen by the State of Connecticut’s Health Department. If you are receiving skilled care from a company that is not properly licensed you could be at risk for not having those checks and balances in place for your loved one and that could put their lives at risk.
And if they are cutting corners and breaking rules as blatantly as this what else could they be compromising within their organization. Be sure to do your research and understand the difference between to two types of care and you will be sure to put your loved ones care in the right hands.
Kristine Lajeunesse is the president and owner of Always Best Care Senior Services of Central Connecticut. As a leader in the non-medical home care industry Kristine and her staff provides home care services add offers FREE assistance with our Independent/assisted living placement services. Kristine’s goal is to provide the best quality care in the “non-medical” industry for in-home care.