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Health Soc Care Community. 1998 Nov;6(6):397-406.

A job profile of home helps in the Netherlands.

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NIVEL (Netherlands Institute of Primary Health Care), Utrecht, the Netherlands; University of Maastricht, Faculty of Health Sciences, Department of Nursing Science, the Netherlands.


Owing to many developments and changes in home care in the Netherlands, a national study on home help services was carried out. One of the aims was to examine the job content of the six new categories of home help, the differences in their work and the correspondence of daily practice with formal job descriptions. Six home help categories were examined: alpha helps; A home helps; B caring helps; C and D carers; and specialized E carers - self-registration forms and weekly reports were used for data-collection. For a period of 4 weeks, 458 home helps recorded on these forms all the activities they carried out during and outside home visits. The daily work of alpha helps, A home helps and B caring helps mainly involves housework and psycho-social/supportive activities, whilst B caring helps also carry out some personal care and C carers do some housework, personal care and psycho-social or supportive activities. The main work of D carers consists of personal care and psycho-social activities. Psycho-social activities are mainly carried out by specialized E carers, who also do housework, mostly together with the client. In daily practice, the four subordinate categories of home help carry out more psycho-social and reporting activities, and the three highest categories do more housework compared with their formal job descriptions. There also appears to be an overlap in the work of A home helps and B caring helps and in the work of C and D caters. An adjustment to formal job descriptions relating to the daily practice of home helpers is required, as well as more time for the extra activities home helps have to carry out. Finally, the overlap between various categories of home helps needs to be resolved whereby instead of six categories of home help, four new categories should be created.


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