For those who have never needed to rely on any type of in home care support, it may not be easy to understand precisely what these caregivers offer as far as help is concerned. Every individual is different, of course, but there are some -elderly and younger disabled adults- who hire in home care workers and then begin expecting them to take on a wide range of tasks that are not actually within the purview of the services they offer.
Some people (and their immediate family members, who may be looking out for their aging loved ones) begin asking these in home care workers to do other types of jobs, like raking the lawn, cleaning all aspects of the house, or even running a host of errands all throughout town. While some caregivers will certainly be more than willing to do something extra, the old adage applies: give them an inch, they think they’re a ruler, meaning even those who ask for small ‘extras’ could end up taking things too far, and it’s not always easy for the home care aide, then, to draw back what they are willing to provide.
According to the Washington Post business op-ed, Your home health care aide is not your maid, landscaper or party organizer, written by Thomas Heath:
“The boundaries for client and employee can be tricky, emotionally and practically. The client needs to manage expectations about what the caregiver does.
“They are not your maids,” Ivey said.
I-Care aides perform light housekeeping duties, such as cleaning areas where the client normally goes. They also prepare light meals — think soup, sandwiches — run errands and transport clients to and from appointments. Depending on the health of the client, aides can play a key role in daily activities such as dressing, bathing, toileting and reminders about their medications.”
Home care agencies have a great responsibility in ensuring their clients, prospective clients, and their network of family and friends understand the exact confines of the job description. The more information these home care providers offer up front, even before they’re hired, about what they will and won’t do, the easier it will be to maintain a smooth and healthy professional working relationship.
Sometimes, though, independent caregivers are willing to do more than they should in order to ‘get the job,’ which ultimately leaves some clients assuming other caregivers and home care agencies will do the same.
No, home care aides are not landscapers, maids, or errand runners. They are professionals who dedicate their time and energy to supporting elderly and disabled clients at home.
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