Listed below is a very simplistic explanation of the various nursing designations and what they represent…
a) Care aide — 1 year training program — average hourly wage — $17 and greater — companionship / personal hygiene and more…
b) LPN (licensed practical nurse) – 2 year training program — average hourly wage — $25 and greater — personal hygiene / medication management and more…
c) RN (registered nurse) – 4 year university — $30 and greater — medication management / care planning / management of care aides / LPNs and more
***Please note*** Generally, you wouldn’t need to hire an RN until/unless you require 24 hour nursing care otherwise known as residential care.
1) Please be thorough and require to see that a criminal record check has been done before hiring your care professional — regardless of whether you employ a care professional through an agency or through Craigslist.
2) When hiring your care professional via Craigslist / Kajiji / etc., please require a copy of their criminal record check, their driver’s license abstract and either create or request an employment contract that both you and your care provider sign. It doesn’t have to be fancy to be effective either – include things like rate of pay, work schedule, holidays – basic things, but things that will help ensure that everyone is on the same page.
***Please Note*** For those of you who pay your care professional in cash, an employment contract is still advisable. This contract will help weed through the chaff, so to speak and will make life soooooo much easier.
3) Just to keep issues to a minimum — lock up valuables or leave your valuables in a safety deposit box or at your children’s home when care professionals are visiting. Sometimes people forget things, like where they put something. Ok, what we mean is that sometimes you might forget (it happens as we age) and rather than create needless drama and upset — well, let’s just secure our valuables in advance and it won’t ever be an issue.
4) Care professionals often have several appointments back to back…ask your care aide if she/he will be travelling quite a distance prior to your visit — with traffic what it is today…you might, otherwise, have to wait a while.
5) Care companies will want to meet with you before committing to a package price because every circumstance is different and therefore, hard to price before assessing — rather than waste your time get the answers to these questions over the phone before they come to do their assessment.
Ask them —
a) what their average hourly rate is?
b) if they require long term contracts?
c) how much notice you will be required to give if you no longer require their services?
d) how they differ from their competition?
e) if there are services that they won’t be able to provide for you, such as palliative care management?
f) if a manager or a staff member reside in your local area? It’s safer for all concerned when we know our neighbours.
7) Negotiate — Negotiate — Negotiate!
***Please note*** If you only need limited assistance, you will have an opportunity to negotiate a better price for the services offered. Like any business, care companies want to have you as a client for as long as possible because recurring revenue is always a good thing:) and a healthy client is, potentially, a long-term client.