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How to Select an In-Home Nurse for Your Aging Parent

Virtually all of us will face a time in our lives when we’ll have an aging parent and we’ll need to make some pretty tough decisions on what needs to be done in order to provide them with the best kind of care.

If you’re currently going through this very thing and you’ve been thinking more and more about hiring an in-home nurse to care for your loved one, we have a few tips on how you can go about selecting the kind who will be most suitable for your specific home care needs below:

Ask for some referrals. The best way to find just about anything that you need is to ask some family members, friends or co-workers if they personally know of anyone who, in this case, works as an in-home nurse. That’s because you want to find someone who can personally vouch for the fact that you will be getting optimal service. So, before looking through the Yellow Pages or online, ask around.

Look at an agency first. Although there are some people who advertise private care, again, if it’s not through a personal referral, you really are best off hiring someone who works for an agency. When it comes to finding a reputable one, make sure that the agency is licensed by the state, that it is certified by Medicare, that it can provide a full list of references, that it’s accredited by a governing agency and also that it performs an extensive amount of screening as it directly relates to the kinds of employees that it hires.

For private contractors, make the following inquiries. If you do happen to hear about someone who is a private contractor who comes highly recommended, before setting up an official interview, whether it’s by email or phone, first ask them what kind of training and experience they have. Also, be sure to inquire about if they can also provide on-the-spot references.

Make sure the in-home nurse has been thoroughly trained. Whether you decide to go with an agency or a private contractor, it is imperative that you make sure that they have been thoroughly trained to fill the position. If you are going to select someone through an agency, ask if they are licensed and insured and if they have a supervisor who regularly evaluates their work. Also, it doesn’t hurt to ask if the agency also offers some sort of quality improvement program. As for private contractors, also make sure they are licensed and insured and that they have more than a few months of hands on experience.

Have more than one interview. As you can probably tell, selecting an in-home nurse is a fairly extensive process. While you shouldn’t ask the candidates questions like what is the meaning of life and expect them to provide a perfect answer, they should be comfortable with you wanting to see their credentials, with you wanting to do some financial negotiating and with you desiring to have more than one interview before you make a final decision. The first couple of conversations should consist of their qualifications and how much they charge. The final interview should be with your parent present so that you can see if the nurse and your parent have a good camaraderie. After all, in selecting the right nurse, you don’t just want someone who “looks good on paper” but also appears to be kind, patient and a good fit for your aging parent too.

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