When a loved one has reached an age where they need assistance, hiring help can be emotionally challenging. They may feel that it is a sign of weakness, or that you are abandoning them. Help ease their anxiety by reaffirming that it is a step toward independence. During the interview process, make sure you listen closely to their needs and concerns. Then, find the perfect caregiver to suit their specific requirements. Whether you choose to hire an agency or hire privately, be sure to screen applicants carefully, check references, provide or confirm training and credentials, and handle essential paperwork. It is also important to plan ahead for unexpected situations, such as when a regular caregiver is sick or out of town.
Many families choose to hire home care through an agency. They may have a list of agencies located near their aging family member, or they may have been referred by friends or other families that use an agency. It is important to talk to a representative from each of the agencies to discuss their services and to learn how they screen their caregivers. They will likely ask detailed questions about your aging family member’s personality and what kind of assistance they require.
In addition to verifying credentials, it is important to talk with a prospective caregiver’s references and get a sense of their character. Open-ended questions, such as “What did you like most about working with your last employer?” can reveal a lot about the candidate’s work ethic and how they respond to challenges. For example, if your elderly loved one is prone to accidents, you might want to find out if they are comfortable handling toileting issues and dressing wounds.
It is also important to consider cultural and language issues when choosing an attendant. If your loved one is a senior who lives alone, it may be easier for them to accept help from someone with a similar background or who speaks their language. You may also wish to consider finding an attendant who is more in tune with their gender and culture, as this can help them develop a close bond with the person they are caring for.
Once you have narrowed your choices, it is a good idea to have the interviewees complete written evaluations of their performance for your review and reference purposes. You may also wish to request copies of the appropriate certifications or licenses, which you can later compare with your own records. Finally, you will need to decide what compensation schedule is most suitable, including the amount of petty cash and vacation leave that should be provided. If you are hiring a private caregiver, be aware that you will be responsible for employment taxes. An accountant or tax attorney can help you understand your obligations. how to find a caregiver for elderly