Finding in-home care help for a loved one can be stressful. Getting the right person can free you to run errands, see friends and get some sleep.
Before you hire, give a list of your loved one’s pet peeves to candidates so they know what to expect. Also discuss visitation policies, salary and benefits.
Find a Caregiver
Whether you are searching for someone to help your loved one at home or in a care facility, there are resources available to assist you. AARP’s Family Caregiving website offers information and tips on a variety of topics, such as handling health records and advance directives, home safety, financial and legal issues, caregiver life balance and more. The site also has a list of local family find a caregiver near me support groups.
Some families prefer to hire caregivers directly rather than through an agency. If you choose to go this route, make sure to screen candidates carefully and check references. You should also verify credentials and licenses.
Another option is to ask for recommendations from friends, neighbors and colleagues. If you find a candidate you like, consider asking that person for a reference from their previous employer or manager. This can provide a good insight into the candidate’s behavior and reliability on the job. You can also check to see if your community has programs that offer low-cost or free home care through the state’s In-Home Supportive Services program.
Ask for Recommendations
The decision to hire a caregiver can be a hard one. Caregivers provide companionship as well as practical services, so it’s important to find someone your loved one will enjoy spending time with.
When bringing up the topic of hiring a caregiver to your loved one, try to keep it light and focused on benefits. Your loved one may not be thrilled about the idea at first, but a positive attitude will go a long way in turning things around.
If you’re planning to hire a caregiver through a registry or on your own, ask for recommendations from friends and family members who have used caregiving services in the past. These contacts will be able to speak to the quality of a caregiver’s work, as well as their personality and character. You should still screen and interview caregivers you receive referrals from. They may not have the same training and certifications as an agency health aide.
Post a Job
Whether you use an agency or find caregivers on your own, you will need to carefully screen and interview them. This includes reviewing resumes to look for grammatical errors, short or inconsistent work histories and missing credentials (like home health aide or CNA certification). It is also recommended that you have the potential caregiver meet your loved one at the initial interview and, if possible, have an in-person meeting at least once a week.
In addition to conducting interviews, you may need to provide training and handle essential paperwork like contracts and payroll. If you are hiring a private hire, you will need to consider whether or not you want them to have workers’ compensation insurance, which is optional but recommended. You will also need to decide if you want them to be on your payroll or be self-employed, and you will need to consider what benefits to offer (e.g. vacation, maternity leave). A registry can also help with background checks and may have an online database that you can search by name.
Get a Free Quote
A professional caregiver can help family members regain their independence and time to do the things they love. If a loved one is unable to fully care for themselves due to injury, age, disease or mental health issue it may be time to consider outside assistance.
Make sure to talk with the person who will be hiring a caregiver and discuss their expectations and any concerns they have about making this change. It is also important to list the care recipient’s bug bears and irritations so that potential candidates are prepared for any challenges that may arise.
Caregivers are often found through word-of-mouth referrals, employment agencies and even community bulletin boards. Some people choose to self-pay or take out long term care insurance policies to help offset the cost of hiring a caregiver. Other options include low-cost home care through specialized programs that may be available to certain adults. It is important to research all the possible payment options before making a final decision on how you will pay for your caregiving needs.