I am writing a letter to the editor to express my ever-growing frustration with certain aspects of home care for the elderly within our community. I am currently a third-year nursing student at TRU.
For the past year I have been working part-time as a care-aide within the community.
During this time I have seen inconsistency in the amount of time each client gets for care. One client may get 90 minutes while another gets 30 minutes. This is decided by the nurse that comes in to assess each client’s level of need.
Since I am now finishing my third year of nursing I have an understanding of how a client assessment is completed and what aspects it includes. The sad part is, almost 80 per cent of the time that I see someone who needs over an hour’s worth of care, (for reasons such as immobility), they only get half an hour.
This results in the care-aide doing a poor job because time does not permit them to do as much as the client needs. Other times I see clients who get an hour when all they need is their compression stockings off.
Are the assessments being done accurately? Or are they not being done
frequently enough? Or is it the fact that for the first few months, home care is completely covered and after that the client has to pay for it?
Are certain people taking advantage of the system for the first few months to have things done like their dishes washed (even though they are capable of doing it)? Unfortunately, I do not have the answer to these issues but would love to see a change leading to a fairer system.
To conclude, I want the public to realize that there are hundreds of people in our community that use home care and really need the help and I feel so rewarded to be part of these individuals’ lives.
However, I believe that there are people who have misused the system and need a maid rather than a care-aide. Care-aides are not trained to mop floors, but are rather the angels that help families take care of their loved ones.