Wednesday, June 11, 2008
One of the more frightening aspects for me of having a child with significant disabilities has been the hiring of personal care aides. I'm so very grateful that Ashley has aides, but finding and retaining really good people is daunting, to say the least.
Personal care aides assist a person with a disability with many things, even very personal and intimate everyday tasks like bathing and toileting. I still am very uncomfortable with a new hire seeing my teenage daughter naked and helping her with those tasks.
Ashley and I have been very blessed to find Amy, the aide that has been with Ashley the longest, and who is more a part of our family than an aide. But there is still a need for backup support, and that's where my discomfort surfaces. So I did some Google searches on finding, managing and retaining quality personal care aides, and I found a great resource document. It is a publication of the Research and Training Center on Independent Living, and it is titled, "A Step-by-Step Guide to Training and Managing Personal Assistants: Consumer Guide ."
There are chapters on hiring and conducting background checks, supervision and management, performance checks, record keeping and paying an assistant, and avoiding ripoff by assistants. There is even a chapter titled, "The Intimate Side of Life."
It really is a great resource - very practical and easy to understand. I encourage anyone who, like me, is a little uncomfortable with the transition to personal care services to take a look at it.