How to Find a Caregiver

If you’re in need of caregiving services, there are a variety of ways to get them, including long term insurance policies, traditional health care and Medicare-certified agencies. AARP’s Caregiver Action Network offers tips and a resource locator.

Make a list of your older adult’s pet peeves to share with caregiver candidates so they can prepare for them. You should also set clear job expectations and create a contract.

Ask for Recommendations

Asking friends and family for recommendations is a great starting point when looking for a caregiver. You can also visit online caregiver directories or job boards to find candidates.

Once you have a list of potential applicants, schedule in-person interviews. During this meet and greet, you should discuss the job description with each candidate and get to know them better. You can even include your loved one in the interview process so they feel involved.

When you’re interviewing potential how to find a caregiver be sure to avoid questions that are illegal under US employment laws such as past compensation and gender. Instead, Pitt suggests focusing on “how a candidate interacts with seniors” and whether or not they have the necessary skills to provide quality care.

Conduct Your Own Research

While a referral from a friend or family member can be a good starting point, it’s important to conduct your own research. Check the aide’s credentials and state certification to make sure they’re qualified for the job. You also want to ensure they are insured and bonded in case of an accident.

Consider staffing services, private registries or local connections to find independent in-home caregivers. These options may offer more flexibility in personality and schedule. But they’re usually more expensive than agencies.

Ask about a background check and how it’s conducted. Some agencies conduct these checks for a fee, while others require you to pay a separate 3rd party service.

Involve your loved one in the process as much as possible. Have them interview candidates and meet them in their home, if possible. Ask about their experience, how they get along with your loved one and if they’re comfortable handling the specific tasks that need to be done.

Create a Job Description

Creating a job description will help you define the role and attract qualified candidates. It can also weed out applicants who may not be the right fit. A well-written caregiver job description can include details about responsibilities, required qualifications and skills, and other important information.

It’s also a good idea to include salary and hourly rate expectations in the job description. This can help you set expectations and avoid paying someone who isn’t eligible for your older adult’s benefits or who works under the table.

When you interview potential caregivers, it’s also a good idea to ask them about their previous experience and to verify credentials, training, and licensures. You should also do background checks and check references. It’s a good idea to include your older adult in the interviews so they can meet and get to know the prospective caregivers. If the potential caregiver is hired, make sure both of you sign a contract agreement that outlines the duties and responsibilities of both parties.

Conduct a Background Check

A background check should be a standard part of any employment hiring process. Those who are in the business of caring for vulnerable individuals should be extra careful to make sure they are hiring the right people. Background checks can uncover federal, state and county felony and misdemeanor convictions that should disqualify someone from employment as a caregiver. They can also reveal driving records, education verifications and employment history, which may indicate whether or not a person has been truthful.

Many private caregivers are hired by services that provide in-home care for seniors, children and the mentally ill. Referrals, good references and interviews can help narrow down your choices, but a thorough background check will shed light on any red flags that might be hiding in a potential candidate’s past. It will give you peace of mind that the people in your care are safe with a professional and trustworthy individual. Drug testing and character assessments are also available to further vet candidates and add another layer of protection.

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