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How to Find the Right In-Home Caregiver

Once you’ve determined an elderly loved one needs assistance in their home, the next step is finding the right person to help out. The thought of allowing a stranger into your personal space is not easy, yet you realize finding help is an absolute must. Not only do you want someone who will be responsible and competent, but the individual will need to be compassionate and honest too.

The vetting process consists of screening candidates prior to hiring them. To ensure your loved one will be safe and well cared for, you’ll need to verify licensure, qualifications, check their references, and conduct a background check. In addition to the formalities and verifications, you’ll want to be sure the person you hire has the experience needed to keep your loved one safe and happy.

Prior to the interview process, you’ll need to decide what tasks the hired in-home aide will be responsible for, which is based on your loved ones needs. Defining the details will be helpful in the creation of a job description, as well as determining how many days and hours per week a person is needed. Additionally, you’ll want to put house rules in place to address pets, guests, smoking, etc.

Use these questions as a guidance tool when interviewing potential caregivers.

Interview Questions

#1 Can you tell me about your past work experience in caring for a person with (i.e. Alzheimer’s, in a wheelchair, special dietary needs, etc.)?
#2 Please describe your skillset to me. (What will your loved one need assistance with?)

  • Cooking
  • Bathing and hygiene
  • Getting dressed
  • Running errands and shopping
  • House chores
  • Moving to and from a wheelchair or bed

#3 Have you had formal training in caregiving or are you self-taught? If formal training, request documentation.

#4 What special certifications and licenses do you have? Finding someone with special first-aid and/or CPR training is ideal for providing care to the elderly.

#5 How often have you missed work? When hiring on your own, you’ll want to find a caregiver that is reliable, otherwise who will take care of your loved one in their absence?

Verify Information

Regardless of how great an individual seems during the interview, don’t let that deter you from following through with the formalities of doing a background check and contacting references.

During the interview process, inform candidates that your interviewing process includes a background check on those you are seriously considering.

  • Ask the individual if they have any concerns with a background check. The response will typically clue you in on any red flags.
  • You’ll need the following details in order to run a background check: full name, date of birth, current address, social security number, photo ID
  • Find out specifics about their past work history including where they last worked, how long they were there, the reason for departure.
  • Ask if you can contact their previous employer, and if so request contact information.
  • When conversing with the references ask if they would hire the caregiver again and find out how well they performed the assigned duties.

Overall, it is an involved and in-depth process. You want to find an individual who has the skills and experience needed to take care of the elderly adult as well as being a good fit and personality match. This person will essentially become an extended family member. When you opt to hire a caregiver through a licensed in-home care agency, much of the screening is taken care of for you, so you can focus on enjoying family time rather than dealing with the logistics of it all.

Whenever your elderly loved one has help from outside caregivers, the risk of elder abuse increases. Be able to identify the signs.

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