Caring for a medically challenged child at home can be an overwhelming task. As much as you love your child, the time it takes to tend to all of his/her needs can put an enormous physical and emotional strain on you and your family. To help ease this burden, many parents hire long term pediatric care providers.
Having a professional care provider come to your home and help with your child can be a great option, as long as you select the right person for the job. To ensure your child receives the best quality care, it is important to address up front some issues that are likely to come up later.
Here are four important topics to discuss with your new long-term pediatric care provider:
Licensing, Accreditation and Related Issues: You need to know that you can trust the person who will be working with your child, and that they have the proper credentials for the job. Here are some questions to ask the in-home care agency:
- Are your professionals licensed to provide home health care in your state?
- Do you perform criminal background checks on your professionals before hiring them?
- Are your professionals fully insured in case they are injured on the job?
- If I am not satisfied with the professional you send me, can I request a replacement?
Boundaries: Every household is different and every family has different house rules. For this reason, it is unreasonable to expect the provider to know these rules up front. Before starting, you need to set up some rules such as:
- Should the care provider ring the doorbell, or just walk into the house at the beginning of her shift?
- Can she use the household appliances, or should she ask for permission first?
- Is she allowed to answer the doorbell or phone?
- Will she be joining the family for meals?
Child Preferences: You will need to inform the provider about your child’s likes and dislikes, so she is able to build strong rapport. Some examples may include:
- Is your child afraid of the dark?
- Do certain noises frighten him/her?
- Does he/she like to be held?
- What types of TV shows does your child like to watch?
- What games and other activities does he/she enjoy?
- Is it difficult to give your child the medication(s) he/she is taking?
Family Involvement: How much do you and other members of the family want to be involved with the care of your child? For example, do you prefer to feed, clothe, and/or bathe your child, or should the provider take over these duties? What role (if any) should the child’s siblings have in his/her care?
When hiring a long-term pediatric care provider, it is normal to be apprehensive about this type of change. By addressing these important topics up front, you can put your mind at ease knowing you and your provider are on the same page.