Do you need to hire a caregiver?

Do you need to hire a caregiver?

Caring for an aging relative is a significant concern for families and AARP calls elder care the “new normal.” The typical family member who cares for a parent is a woman, although men caregivers is a growing trend.

Family members have an enormous need to hire in-home caregivers because they usually work outside the home and need someone else to help when they’re away at work. A professional caregiver can offer the family a much-needed respite when they take over the elder care duties.

But hiring a professional home care aide is tough to do because family members don’t know who would be a good fit. Plus, it’s hard to turn a parent’s care over to just anyone. The safest way to hire a caregiver is to work with a reputable in-home senior care agency. The company handles the background checks, the interview, the training, paying the payroll taxes and insurance. But for the family, hiring a caregiver on your own can save a lot of money.

When hiring an a home care agency, apply these guidelines

  • Ask people you know and trust for referrals.
  • Tell reliable friends that you're looking to hire a caregiver and ask for a referral.
  • Go online to read about an agency, here you’ll learn about their caregiving practices and how they train staff.
  • Find out how often they perform background checks on the staff?
  • What type of training does the agency give the staff?

Before you call the home care company, make a list of what you need done. The position should explicitly describe what care services your parent needs. Be sure to list out your expectations of the caregiver and the agency, and put it in writing. If you need someone four times a week, be sure to let the organization know that it is not a full-time job. Tell them how often you need a home aide and how often that will change.

What types of duties do you require? What tasks will the home care aide perform?

  • Light housekeeping?
  • Driving to appointments?
  • Help with bathing?
  • Help with transport to and from the toilet?
  • Meal planning and cooking?
  • Shopping and running errands?
  • Incontinence help?
  • Medication management?

Does your relative need specialized care for dementia? What types of cognitive training has the caregiver received?

Make a list of qualities you want the home help aide to have

  • Patience
  • A sense of humor
  • A strong personality
  • A gentle and kind soul
  • To have knowledge on elder care issues
  • To receive ongoing training
  • To have deep experience
  • Communicative
  • Self- motivated
  • Likes to have fun
  • Someone who is creative
  • A person who responds quickly
  • Someone who enjoys responsibilities

The interview

Interviewing for a caregiving position is a complicated process. You don’t get a lot of time with a person to ask a lot of questions. Here are few that will get the interview off to a good start:

  • How long have you worked as a caregiver?
  • Tell me about your past work experience.
  • What did you like or not like about your previous jobs and why?
  • Do you have any specialized training or experience?
  • Are you willing to perform the following duties? (List the duties you require, including future needs that you expect)
  • What activities would you do with my parent?
  • Which caregiving task gives you the most pleasure?
  • Describe a typical day of giving care?
  • Why have you chosen this profession?

Don’t hold back, tell the candidate everything you can about the job and what you expect. Be sure your loved one participates in the hiring process.

Carol Marak is a contributor for the senior living and healthcare market.