How to Hire a Caregiver
When you have family members or other loved ones who are getting older, sometimes they need a little extra care. Depending on the level of difficulty your loved one is having with everyday tasks, this can call for several different solutions, but typically an in-home caregiver is going to be the best option. Hiring a caregiver can be extremely beneficial, as it will allow your loved one to stay in their home, not have to move to an unfamiliar environment, and receive help on a daily basis with tasks that they can no longer complete on their own.
Choosing the right caregiver can seem like a daunting task, but, if you exercise due diligence, the process can be much easier, and you’ll end up finding the best person for the job in no time. Here are some things to consider during the process.
You’re going to need an accurate job description. This is so that expectations are laid out clearly from the start. You will know exactly what you need from the caregiver, and the caregiver will know exactly what is expected of them. Having clear expectations will go a long way toward eliminating problems that arise from miscommunication or confusion about the roles your caregiver will need to fulfill.
Start with a list of tasks that need to be performed. Think about various tasks under a number of headings, including the following:
- Personal Care (bathing, dressing, using the restroom, etc.)
- Household Care (cleaning, shopping, eating, etc.)
- Health Care (dealing with medications, health care appointments, etc.)
- Emotional Care (friendship, partaking in community activities, etc.)
The list of tasks will be different for each case, so be detailed and thorough. From there, you can easily create a job description that will help you find the best candidate.
AGENCY vs. PRIVATE CONTRACTOR
It can often be easy to hire a caregiver through an agency. The agency will take care of screening, paperwork, and payment and all you need to do is tell them what you require and pay the agency for their services. Hiring an agency will cost you more than hiring privately, but the convenience of using an agency, makes up for such, as agencies offer the peace of mind that all legal & payroll issues are being handled properly. This type of arrangement may be easier for you and your family.
A private contractor, on the other hand, can often be less expensive, but there is more onus on you to hire the caregiver. Are you prepared to handle screening, paperwork, and finances all by yourself? If so, this may be a good option for you.
INTERVIEW & BACKGROUND CHECK
If you decide to hire a caregiver without the use of an agency, you’re going to want to be especially diligent about this aspect of the process.
Come up with a list of interview questions that are important to you. Think about:
What you need to know about this person as a professional. Find out about their work history and their experience with the specific requirements that your loved one has.
What you want to know about their personal background. It’s better to ask during the interview than be left guessing.
Make sure you do a background check on the person you eventually choose to hire. There are companies that make criminal record and other background checks very easy and cost-effective. Don’t be afraid to do this, as it is standard procedure at almost any job these days. It’s especially important for you because this is your family’s health that we’re talking about here!
Also, check references. If your potential caregiver doesn’t have references, that can be a bad sign. Ensure that you follow up with the references they do have and ask tough questions. If the caregiver did a good job with previous opportunities, the tough questions will be answered easily, and you’ll have a lot more peace of mind.
Never forget that the caregiver you’re hiring is your employee. Sure, a personal relationship between the two of you is important, but it’s more important between the caregiver and your loved one. You’re the boss, so ensure that you’re staying on top of any potential issues and that communication is clear and effective from both sides.
If you devote the time, you’ll find a good caretaker. The process will be smooth and simple, and your loved one will end up with the care they deserve..