The decision to find a caregiver for your elderly loved one can be an emotional and difficult one. There are many options available, including private home care agencies, senior care services, or hiring an independent caregiver. Whether you choose to interview candidates yourself or hire through an agency, be sure to ask plenty of questions and take your time selecting the best fit. In addition to background checks, verifying credentials, and a thorough interview, it’s also important to discuss the specific tasks you expect a caregiver to perform as well as your family member’s needs (such as driving and meal access).
Personal referrals are often an excellent way to find a caregiver for a loved one. However, be sure to thoroughly screen and interview potential caregivers your friends or family recommend. Even though they may have a good track record, their experience or qualifications can vary greatly from your loved ones. For example, they might have a caring personality but are untrained in providing medical care or home health services.
If you’re choosing to interview independent caregivers directly, it’s a good idea to create a job description of your loved one’s daily and weekly care needs. Be sure to include the type of specialized care needed (for example, incontinence and renal urological disorders) and ask for references as well as their resume. It’s a good idea to set up an initial interview/screening by phone and then arrange an in-person meeting at your loved one’s home or at a coffee shop if possible. If you want the caregiver to meet your loved one, invite them to join the interview. It will help them feel more at ease and it will give you an opportunity to see how the two of them get along.
Once you’ve selected a caregiver, it’s a good idea to negotiate an hourly rate and sign a contract. It will formalize the relationship and provide legal documentation should any disputes arise. Your attorney may be able to suggest a sample contract or you can create your own with assistance from an online resources like LegalZoom’s Caregiver Agreements. The contract should outline the duties, responsibilities, schedule, reimbursement amounts for expenses, and other provisions. It should also clearly state the caregiver’s notice period in case you decide to end their employment. A copy of the contract will be beneficial if your family seeks reimbursement from Medicaid, insurance, or assisted living in the future. It will also be helpful in determining whether or not the caregiver has the right to work in your community. If not, you may need to change locations or find a different caregiver. Be sure to speak with representatives from local agencies and review their policies and procedures as well. They should be able to answer your questions about screening, background checks, and hiring policies. They can also advise you about the different types of caregiving support available and whether they are covered by Medicare or private pay. how to find a caregiver for elderly