For some seniors, declining health reduces their ability to care for themselves. From getting dressed and preparing meals to completing household chores and running errands, mastering everyday tasks presents a challenge. It is when this happens that seniors and their families must make a decision on how to improve their quality of life. While some may opt to move their aging loved ones in with them or transition them to a nursing home, many consider hiring an in-home nurse.
What is an In-Home Nurse?
An in-home nurse is commonly referred to as a home health caregiver or home care nurse. These are trained nursing professionals that provide medical and other assistance to patients in their homes.
What Does an In-Home Nurse Do?
The responsibilities of an in-home nurse are plentiful. Depending on the needs of the client nurses can assist with the administration of medication, injections, and therapeutic treatments. Home care nurses will also assist patients who have difficulties with daily living activities. This can include feeding, dressing, bathing, personal hygiene, and, getting around, using the restroom.
What to Look For?
If you’ve decided that an in-home nurse is ideal for improved living, the next step would be to find the best candidate for the job. There are several agencies and independent nurses to choose from. In order to narrow down your options, it is highly recommended that you keep these considerations in mind.
Education – an in-home nurse will be working regularly with their patient. It is their responsibility to administer medications, monitor conditions, and perform certain therapies. As such, it is essential that they have the necessary education. When looking for the right elder care nurse, consider their educational background. What medical education and training do they have? Did they utilize resources like Level Up RN for nursing students to obtain more knowledge and pass tests? Have they passed the required licensing and registration requirements in your state?
Experience – Experience is another key consideration when hiring an in-home nurse. Beyond having an educational foundation, you want to know that the nurse you hire has had experience caring for seniors with your conditions. Don’t be afraid to ask how many years they’ve been in the industry? Do they speak English fluently? How many patients they’ve assisted? How many problems have occurred (and how they were resolved?
Agency – If you prefer to hire a private nurse for senior care through an agency, do your due diligence. Conduct research to find out how long the agency has been in business, how clients and their families feel about the quality of service provided, what their qualifications are for hiring nurses, what policies and procedures are put in place to monitor nurse performance and patient care, and more.
Comfort/Bedside Manner – You’re going to be spending quite a bit of time with your in-home nurse. Obviously, you want those interactions to be positive. Part of this means finding a nursing professional that makes you feel comfortable and has a good bedside manner. As you interview candidates to narrow down your options, pay attention to how they make you feel. Are they answering all of your questions? Are they patient and attentive to your needs? Do they have an overall upbeat personality? If you’re not connecting with them on a social level, this could make the in-home care experience complicated.
Affordability – At some point, you have to consider the cost of hiring an in-home nurse for elderly care. Depending on the type of medical insurance you have, these services may only be partially covered (if they’re covered at all). Therefore, you want to go over the cost of in-home care and determine who can provide you with the best services at a rate you can afford.
When the need arises in your life that you need assistance from others to care for yourself or perform regular activities, in-home care could be an effective solution. Be that as it may, it is imperative that you do your due diligence and keep the above-listed considerations in mind as you find one that best suits your needs.