I just want to add to this and keep this up to date. I am now working at my second Home Instead office. I started out working at one in Southern CA. I was so new at this that I didn’t know that there could be anything to question. However I agree that the training is far from "good" training. I had helped take care of a parent, raised a child, babysat, and cooked for a couple elderly sisters (about 30yrs ago) that was enough to get me hired. My “training” consisted of watching videos, read booklets and answered questions regarding each part of the video or booklet. Its informative, however, there is so much information that is given that you are really on a brain over load for remembering the information. Then you go out on an assignment. In CA I was fortunate that the majority of my clients were "easy" mainly housekeeping, running errands, companionship, med reminders (not giving meds- more on this later), assisting with exercises per OT or PT. Ambulation assist, bathroom/bathing assist (daily existence assistance).
A year later I was put on a fill-in shift... this client had c-diff, on a catheter & diaper, and was on hospice/end of life. The person the respite was for informs me about the c-diff (never heard of it before and was extremely concerned about dealing with changing the person) now mind you; a year ago I watched a video on catheter care, changing a bed ridden client.. Now I am trying to remember what I had watched... needless to say I did my best, but I could not get the person clean enough after a very runny BM and had to put on a new adult diaper by trying to roll this person by myself back and forth to get this diaper on... I got it on but it barely fit. I had to inform the person I was giving the respite care for about the situation as far as not getting the client very clean/diaper poorly fitting. I was assured it would be ok as hospice would be in the next day and could bath the client.
Now I am in King County WA... every complaint I have read about on the internet about Home Instead sounds like the office I am currently at. I had a client we were doing live in for after he got out of the hospital while recuperating. He complains to me about how he felt he was coheres into signing a contract for continued live-in at $350/day, for two weeks… a mighty expensive cost. I explained to him about the Client Bill of Rights, that he did not have to have this amount of service if he didn’t feel he needed it... Another client is downright rude to caregivers, has fired several, and when I said I wanted off this client, I was told I needed to find a way to work with the client, but fortunately I did get removed after another shift worked. Another client, in a facility... Advanced Alzheimer’s. I am up all night to watch the client sleep and to prevent wandering. This person is dead weight, the CNAs are supposed to come around during the night to change this client, however this client urinates more than once or twice a night and tries removing the diaper because its wet. I try changing this client myself, dead weight, doesn’t understand what is being asked (such as roll over on to your side) where was the training... oh wait I had a manual to read and questions to answer regarding Alzheimer’s... this was "advanced" training mind you...
I don’t want to sound disgruntled... but this office is all about the money... at a meeting caregivers complain about having to do things that are beyond our "NON-MEDICAL" scope/training. However the 'grey' area seems to be the expected result... meaning you are filling meditrays, (for those who have no family helping the client... no Dr ordered medtray set ups)... you are expected to make sure the client gets the meds... We are told if uncomfortable with peri care to let the office know they will send someone out to assist... haven’t seen any one yet come out to help... so there you are washing a man/woman whether you are comfortable with it or not...
Next, they hire constantly...there is a huge turnover ( by the way I will be leaving too), the caregivers I have seen are very young, very inexperienced, and lot of them affraid of their own shadows and the company puts them out there taking care of weak vulnerable people!!
I have said to my family many times "there is something about this office, the way they run it, treat the caregivers, smooth talk the clients, something I was not able in the beginning to put my finger on”.. But I finally figured it out...They ARE all about the money. What they charge the client for home helper/companion/personal services is outrageous!! The clientele they seem to get frequently are very medically needy…This is a NON MEDICAL COMPANY not a HEALTH CARE... We DO NOT provide medical advice, diagnose, change bandages, do wound care, clip nails, and dispense meds...so why are we as caregivers being sent out to these medically needy clients? Why is the client being charged the same as if an LPN is taking care of the client?
The pay, yes it sucks, it is very exhausting work at best, you are dealing with various stages of decline in elderly persons for hours on end, day after day... I am aware of what is being charged and by no means am I getting paid even half of the amount. Example; client charged $350 for 24hr care -caregiver receives (if doing the full 24hr) $145...but if they split it between two caregivers and now its 2-12hr shifts each cg gets $98.78... Ok mathematicians... divide that... barely minimum wage... 12/98.78 =$8.23hr... (I finally after a year in CA was making 9.78hr, with no flat rate positions/overnight or live-in shifts- In WA I on average will make $10.50hr for shifts under 12hrs... (Flat rates paid otherwise).
I do enjoy helping the elderly, I am all for those who would like to remain in their own homes to be able to provide some help that makes that possible, And I think what I do is invaluable to help the elderly, but I also am one of the minority that has gone on to get my CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant), I have CPR/First Aid training, I am always doing research and self studies on the internet that will help make me a better caregiver... but the bottom line is I still do not have a medical background, therefore some of the clients that Home Instead makes us take care of are way beyond our scope and either the client should be in a facility or the family should hire someone with a medical background like an LPN/RN.
I have experienced two companies in two States… and even though they are Franchises- but are to follow under one type of business guidelines… these are two VERY different companies. I am not saying that the one in CA is better, but certainly at the time I had no complaints while working there, least not like I do with the one I am currently at. I am a registered CNA, and I have to protect it, which is why I will not be staying with this company. I am afraid they will jeopardize my CNA for their profit.