There are some decisions in life that are essentially weightless, and then there are those where the choice you make could have life-altering consequences. Choosing a caregiver is one of those latter decisions. It can be difficult to know where to start, and even when you do, it can be challenging to sift through the candidates. The following are some tips to help you find the best caregiver for your loved one.
Understand Your Financial Reality
Before you go looking for a caregiver, determine how much money you can realistically spend. The cost of hiring an in-home attendant can add up quickly. This is especially true if your search takes you to large home care agencies located in major cities.
A good way to assess your financial situation is to ask family members, friends, and neighbors who have used a home care agency what their experience was like. They may be able to provide you with contacts for private caregiving services in your area.
Prepare a Job Description
When interviewing potential caregivers, it is important to have a clear understanding of the duties and responsibilities that will be expected of them. During the interview, you should also explain to them what your older loved one’s needs are and what you expect from them. This will help you find a caregiver that is both qualified and willing to work with your loved one.
Be sure to include in the job description the ability to drive (with a valid driver’s license), your expectation of insurance coverage for their vehicle and themselves while on the job, the possibility of taking your loved one on errands in your car or theirs (with mileage reimbursement provided), whether your elderly loved one has pets that require interaction or supervision, any limitations on smoking, and your expectations regarding use of video monitoring and recording devices. Also, discuss compensation whether hourly or salary including performance review schedules and vacation time guidelines.
Ask for References
It is always a good idea to request two or three references from previous employers before you hire someone. Ask the references to describe the level of care they provided, the aide’s personality and demeanor, and any special skills or training they have.
It may take a few interviews to find the right person for your loved one. During the interview, be sure to listen carefully and ask questions for clarification. If you are not comfortable with the answers, move on to the next candidate.
Consider a Trial Period
Before making a final decision, try out your prospective caregiver for a week or two. This will give both of you a chance to observe how well your loved one gets along with the aide and how the aide performs their tasks. It will also allow your loved one to adjust to having a new person in their home.
It is normal for your older loved one to be nervous or apprehensive at first when a new caregiver enters their home. But be patient and reassure them that you are there to help with the transition, and that the aide will soon feel like part of their family. how to find a caregiver