Often, people take compatibility for granted. Because it’s so basic, some of us don’t give it a second thought. But think about it… we get married to someone with whom we’re compatible. We maintain the best friendships with people with whom we share common interests. We learn the most from teachers/mentors with whom we share ideals. Compatibility matching — a connection on a higher, more personal level — can make any kind of relationship more sustainable and more mutually rewarding. So why does it so often get overlooked within the healthcare industry?
Our relationships with physicians, nurses, therapists, in-home care workers, etc., rely first on skill and availability. But they also require a great deal of trust and comfort. In my experience as the owner of a home care agency, I have seen that the most beneficial relationship between client and caregiver is one in which the individual parties have made a personal connection. In highly compatible client-caregiver relationships, I see increased compassion, understanding, and commitment. A well-suited caregiver can provide the client and their family with more peace of mind and overall satisfaction.
There is definitely a place in our society for home care agencies (I still own and manage one). And in some cases, individuals will source and manage their own home care needs using job postings and a lot of sweat-equity (it’s personal, and I understand that). But here’s where Home Care Assist fills a void; it is between the traditional and more expensive home care agencies and the cumbersome classified ads. Home Care Assist is a convenient, middle-of-the-road resource for connecting with vetted, skilled, and compatible caregivers.
Remember, from experience, I have found that compatibility is key. On similar sites, care seekers post help-wanted ads, but it’s left up to them to verify each applicant’s qualifications, background reports, and availability. This process is time-consuming and often overwhelming. And compatibility is not considered in the equation.
At Home Care Assist, both the caregiver and the careseeker complete an online personality profile. The careseeker gains access to a percentage-ranked list of background-screened caregivers who are matched to their needs and availability and also their compatibility. The Home Care Assist matching algorithm focuses on four key areas for ensuring in-home care compatibility: Care Needs, Character Traits, Common Interests, and Home Environment.
Specifics of The Home Care Assist Algorithm
1. Care Needs
First, availability/need schedule and geography are matched. Then, we ask about basic care requirements, i.e., medication reminders, transportation, household chores, bathing, dressing, feeding, ambulation, etc. The presence of special medical conditions and circumstances are considered like dementia, Parkinson’s, hospice, and more. Familiarity with using particular medical aids (walkers, wheelchairs, hoyer lifts, etc.) within a home care environment is sometimes essential.
2. Character Traits
Next, we consider what may make a unique connection between the careseeker and caregiver. For example, cultural similarities or spoken languages. Long or short term care? 24/7?
3. Common Interests
Often, great connections are established based on common interests such as reading, history, art, sports, or activities.
4. Home Environment
And finally, since the care takes place within an individual’s home, it must be conducive to the caregiver. Does the living environment include pets or smoking?
I believe that matching well-suited caregivers and clients is the first step in ensuring a healthy homecare relationship. I have found that this is especially true for in-home, private-duty care when a caregiver is in their client’s home for extended periods of time. As the owner of an agency, I strive to place a caregiver with as many similarities to their client as possible. A high level of compatibility on the front-end avoids conflict and increases the likelihood of a long-lasting, beneficial relationship.
Similarly, the reason that I created Home Care Assist is to help people connect with the “right” caregiver, right now. When it comes to caring for those you love, no one should settle for less. The “right” caregiver is qualified, trustworthy, dependable AND their personality and character are appropriately suited to their client and their client’s family.