The rights of the domestic health workers should be well protected to ensure that proper care is taken of the aging adults. There have been a lot of government programs and policies framed that ensures that the domestic health workers are empowered and their rights are protected.
- This includes improving their working conditions which has a serious positive impact on the aging population of the nation.
- Not only that, it has also allowed the caregiving workforce to shape their future career in home health care and secure it depending on the quality of Home care jobs.
Considering the fact that the baby boomers are aging and people are now living a longer life than it was ever imagined, the need for home care is inevitable to rise in order to keep up with the rising demand of the dramatically growing aging population.
The experts suggest that there are lots of reasons for the need for care, especially home-based care but the most significant one is that the generation of older people typically wants to age in their homes and communities. They want to stay connected to their friends and family rather than live a confined and secluded life in an institution.
Rise in demand of workforce
All these means that there will be a significant increase in the number and need for direct care workforce, and once again, particularly the home-care workforce. However, at this moment, these types of useful and essential jobs are considered to be low wage with an average annual income of $13,000 per year.
- This low wage indicates that this workforce who look after the older population so diligently can seldom care for their own family properly.
- This also indicates that there is an immediate need by the policymakers to rethink about the laws and regulations of home care so that they can build a stronger workforce in a new and better way. This will help the older generation to live well in the future.
In addition to that, it also means that more and more families will be engaged in managing care. However, this generation of informal or family caregivers also needs to be supported better. Unfortunately, at this moment the caregivers, whether professional or informal, are not in the consciousness of the people and certainly not in the policy considerations and solutions.
About the occupation
The home care industry is one of the fastest growing industry and the occupation of the home care workers is also an equally important one. However, there is a growing concern that the number of home care workers will hardly be able to keep pace with the ever-growing demand of the population boom. This will only be possible when there is an improvement in the quality of jobs.
It is seen that most of the home health care agencies lose their best caregiver quite frequently. This is because they undervalue their work and thereby cannot retain them by providing the benefits and wages that they duly deserve.
At the end of the day, it is the caregivers as well as the older patients that suffer due to this improper home care management systems.
Integrating the care team
The home-based workforce should be integrated with the care team. According to the CMS grant of $12 million the care team needs to integrate the home‐based workforce program with more older patients and the home health aides.
According to these programs, the home health aides are trained how to take care of the older citizens. They are also trained to:
- Take note of the health conditions of the older patients
- Adhere to the medication requirements and standards
- Communicate with the patients, family members and team members and
- Educate and navigate the health care process and system.
Each of the module of these training programs typically contain an integration activity. This helps the home care aides to identify a problem and communicate their findings to the supervising physician through proper discussions and role playing.
In this training process the competencies of the health care aides are assessed by the trainers using different tools such as:
- Hands‐on competency checks
- Home assignments review and
- Evaluation of role playing.
In addition to that they also use the electronic medical records as well as all contributing health plans or medical groups. This will educate the aides about the training program as well as the goal of integrating the home care aides into a team‐based care.
Evaluation and support research
There has been a lot of test models developed by the policymakers, payers, and care service providers to experiment and evaluate the activities of the care teams and performers. These test models are formally incorporated into the home health care programs so that the home health aides can:
- Assess their role
- Gather the information and
- Convey to the physician or the nurse.
However, apart from these pilot testing and assessment programs, it is also required that the policymakers and CMS support evaluations and demonstrations that will test the benefits of integrating the home health aides into the home‐based care teams.
Standardizing competency requirements
Through proper training it is also required to make the home care aides more competent so much so that they can perform at the same level and with the same efficiency of the home-based care team members. This standardization will not only help in retooling the health care system but will also develop the quality of home care aide and the entire workforce.
While addressing the competencies of the home health care aides it is needed to address the skills and knowledge of the aides to provide such care and operate as a part of the care service team. These should include:
- Their observation skills
- Documentation skills
- Reporting skills and
- Participating ability in a care program with proper planning and implementation.
In addition to that, proper and effective communication with the other members of the team must also be considered to provide the basic and required training to the home health aides. This will ensure better home care and best outcomes.