Tips For Hiring In-Home Caregivers
Caring for a loved one comes with a great deal of responsibility, and loved ones who need a lot (or even 24 hours) of supervision each day are more than any of us can handle alone. You may have to hire someone else to care for your loved one to keep your current job, help with other family commitments, or just to maintain your own sanity. You may feel nervous about allowing a stranger to take on the responsibility, but you can take steps to make the process less risky. Hiring a caregiver does not have to be difficult, as long as you know what to look for. It is important to remember that you are not the only one going through this; your loved one is going to be the one dealing with this caregiver on a day to day basis. It is important to know what to look for when hiring a caregiver. You will want to hire someone from a reputable agency, and may want to find someone through word of mouth, or online. You should strongly consider not hiring someone “independent” who will simply be paid cash “under the table.” There is no assurance that the person will conduct themselves honestly, and no recourse if they don't. Also, any liability for anything that happens to the caregiver, the premises, or to your loved one is yours alone. This is too much of a risk to save the few dollars per hour that a home care agency costs for their expertise. Either way, here are some things you will want to consider when finding the right caregiver:
- Perform background checks and check references, or ensure the agency does so.
- Interview the caregiver in person.
- Be specific about what you expect from the caregiver (will they need to bathe the patient, or just help with nourishment and going for a walk?) and see that they are willing to provide specific services you need.
- Ask about their experience and training.
- Check for a valid driver's license and driving record if transportation for your loved one is needed.
- If the caregiver has the ability to assist with medication management or administering medicines, have a discussion about reading labels and the times and days each medication is needed.
- Is the same caregiver going to be providing the care, or will it be a different person every day?
Once you hire someone, if you're not living in the same house, check in on the caregiver regularly. Beyond looking for the obvious things (like making sure the caregiver is not sleeping or texting when he or she is supposed to be giving your loved one a bath) you will also want to look for other things, like a positive attitude and good organizational skills. You want to make sure that the caregiver and your loved one are happy in each other's company. These tips can go a long way toward helping your loved one and improving their health – and improving your own sanity and well-being. If you have any questions or want any advice on hiring a caregiver, our firm is only a call away and we can give as much assistance as is needed.
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