Locating the right home health care provider for yourself or a loved one requires finding someone with the qualifications that best suit your particular needs.  For most family, there are many needs to try to match to a care provider.

One of the current obstacles facing care seekers is the rise in demand for care providers. As the average lifespan of the general population continues to rise, more people will need care providers, which makes finding the right match more difficult. 

Current forecasts highlight this trend and predict even greater demand in the coming years. For instance, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projected the employment outlook for home health aides to rise 38 percent between 2014 to 2024. This is more than five times the projected 7 percent rate for all occupations over the same time period. These numbers illustrate just how great the demand for home care providers will skyrocket. 

Major growth expected in the home health aide sector will create greater competition among care seekers who are all trying to get the best possible home health aide. What are the right qualifications for you or your loved one? 

 

As demand for caregivers increases, finding the right candidate will become more difficult.

As demand for care providers increases, finding the right candidate will become more difficult.

What kind of training do home health aides need?

Finding a care provider with the right home health aide training remains one of the biggest challenges when evaluating prospective home health agencies and their staff.

Depending on yours or your loved ones needs, the type of home health aide training you're looking for will vary. It might include assisting with housekeeping or other instrumental activities of daily life, such as cooking meals and facilitating transportation to doctors or leisure activities. In other scenarios, you might need a care provider to take vital signs, dress basic wounds, has specialized training in dementia or Alzheimer's, or even help with medication schedules. Regardless of your needs, though, it's important that the home health aide you're seeking has the proper training to handle tasks and provide the best care and companionship for your loved one. 

New training programs are being launched around the country such as the Integrated Model for Personal Assistant Research and Training (IMPART) and Building Training, Building Quality (BTBQ), according to Home Health Care News. By identifying care providers who have undertaken these additional training programs to enhance their skills, you can find a better qualified prospect.

As noted by the source, studies have revealed that greater training for senior care providers:

  • Reduces turnover.
  • Improves care seeker satisfaction and outcomes.

These traits help ensure a better standard of care for you or your loved one. 

"It's important that home health aides have strong communication skills."

Foreign language proficiency

Foreign language fluency plays a major role in delivering top-notch home health care. If the care provider you seek out is unable to communicate clearly with you or your loved one due to translation problems, it can cause a decline in the quality of care. 

While many will accurately pinpoint Spanish as the second most spoken language in the U.S., the others might surprise you. After English, the top five most spoken languages in the U.S. according to CORE Languages are:

  • Spanish with nearly 40 million speakers.
  • Chinese with almost 3 million speakers.
  • Tagalog, the official language of the Philippines, with more than 1.6 million speakers.
  • Vietnamese with nearly 1.5 million speakers.
  • French (including Creole) with more than 1.3 million speakers.

Finding a care provider that can communicate proficiently with you or your loved one in a native tongue ensures a better relationship.

And while finding multilingual care providers will remain a top priority, it's also important that you locate a home health aide that has solid communication and interpersonal skills all around. The ability to build a personal rapport and establish trust through both words and actions are key components of a strong relationship.

How to find the best candidate

Surging demand for home health care aides will mean you'll have to diligently sift out underqualified candidates. Pouring over reams of paper resumes is a time-consuming and labor-intensive method to locate the ideal care provider. Additionally, how can you be sure that the skills listed are truthful and accurate?

Instead of spending hours online or calling dozens of different agencies, the data available through the Comprehensive Community Resource Finder from Carelike provides you with more than just basic candidate contact information. Carelike offers a comprehensive and un-biased database of home health aides that meet your needs for providing the highest level of quality care.  While many other online directories only list providers who are contracted with them, Carelike lists all licensed providers in your area - giving you the most comprehensive view of your options.

Additionally, Carelike's CareMatch™ Advanced Search technology, lets you narrow down your search to pinpoint the precise qualifications you're seeking in a caregiver, whether this includes providing specialized Alzheimer care, speaking a particular language or knowing how to handle specific health conditions.