Hiring a Caregiver

How to Hire a Caregiver:

When the time comes for families to fill the need to employ an elder care service to help them with the caring for a senior member of the family, they have the choice of finding a caregiver to employ or hiring a home care agency to provide the services. What’s the best alternative? In most cases, it is much better to hire an excellent senior home care agency to provide families with the caregivers that they need.

Do Your Homework

There might be some cheaper alternative to hiring from a licensed caregiver agency but that will come with a lot of high risks to you or your elder family member’s safety and well being. When you hire a caregiver, it is highly recommended that you hire someone that has been background checked by a law enforcement agency to make sure that they do not have any criminal record. It is also highly recommended that you check and verify their past employment history to make sure that the person you hire has the necessary experience needed to do the job.

How to Avoid Caregiver Burnout.

In many cases the caregiver happens to be a family member whether it is the elderly’s wife, husband or children. Many times, the caregiver herself or himself have their own family to care for at the same time. There will come a time when these family caregivers themselves will need to take some time off from caring for their elder relative. It is always a good idea to take time off from all the stress of caring for your family elder members, especially if you have a family of your own too. We highly recommend that you look into hiring a professional caregiver like the ones we have at Dignity BayArea HomeCare Staffing to come in and take over the care of your family member so that you can take some time off to relieve the stress and recuperate in order to avoid caregiver burnout.

Here are Some Tips in How to Choose and A Caregiver for Your Elder Family Member

Assess your home-care needs.

  • Evaluate the help that is needed in the areas of health care, personal care, and household care.
  • Do you need home health care, such as physical therapy or medication management?
  • Do you need non-medical personal care, such as help with bathing, dressing, toileting, and meal preparation, or are you looking mainly for a companion or sitter?
  • Do you need help with housecleaning, shopping, home maintenance, and running errands, or with bill-paying and managing your money?

Write a job description.

Write out a job description based on the help that is needed. Be sure to include:

  • Health care training needed (Mention what type of training level needed for the job)
  • Driving (indicate whether the caregiver needs to have a driver license and a car or the client supplies the vehicle themselves)
  • Ability to lift or will there be special lift equipment to be supplied by the client.

Develop a job contract.

The job contract is based on the job description and should include:

  • Wages; when and how payment will be made
  • Hours of work
  • Employee’s Social Security number (because you must report wages paid to the caregiver to the Internal Revenue Service)
  • Job description
  • Unacceptable behavior such as smoking, abusive language, tardiness, etc.
  • Termination, how much notice, reasons for termination without notice, etc.
  • Dated signatures of employee and employer.

Know where to look for a caregiver. 

Identify the pool from which you can find a caregiver. You may have neighbors or friends who would be good prospective caregivers. If you belong to a church, clubs ask your pastor or minister for prospects. Look in your local advertising sources whether they are on print, radio or on the internet. Ask Other Family Members and Friends with Seniors for Recommendations.

When you hire from a licensed and bonded caregiver agency such as Dignity BayArea HomeCare Staffing, all these worries that we talked about above are being taken off the shoulders of the families and become the responsibility of the caregiver agency. The other benefit is that it is more likely that they would do a much better job of vetting the candidates due to the fact that is their livelihood and they have a lot more experience in doing it than a regular person would.

Prepare for the interview.

Prepare a list of questions to ask. Have a list for any applicant, caregiver agency, referral source, or reference you may call during your search. If you don’t know what questions to ask a private caregiver, call a caregiver agency. The agency should be helpful, because you are a prospective customer.

Interview applicants.

Once you’ve screened applicants by telephone, you should interview individuals who sound acceptable in person. Invite a family member or close friend to sit in on the meeting and ask them to give you a second opinion. Always observe interactions between the employee and the individual who’ll be receiving care. If you’re interviewing a caregiver agency, ask to interview the in home caregivers yourself. Often times the bureau employees will look great on paper, but whenever you get to meet them, they may not be a great fit for you.

It’s highly encouraged that you do a face to face interview with the possible caregivers themselves. Check references. It is necessary to check references cautiously, talking to everyone who’s given as a benchmark. You’re searching for somebody who’s reputable and reliable in addition to someone who’s capable to do the work.

Take criminal background check.

States laws require that a caregiver needs a background check, but it does not mean it’s been done. It is highly recommended that everyone you consider hiring must pass a criminal background check. But even when someone doesn’t have a conviction for a disqualifying offense, she or he could have convictions for crimes that will concern you or present a safety hazard. If you are employing an agency or by an agency, ensure that the bureau does criminal history checks.

Hire only based on your requirements or needs:

You wish to employ a caregiver that has experience in the particular areas where you require assistance. Individuals who’ve Alzheimer’s disease often require assistance with toileting and bathing, for instance, so look for somebody who has experience in working with seniors with this illness. Attempt to employ a licensed and associated guardian. In case the agency isn’t licensed or bonded, you might want to look someplace else. Similarly, that disqualifies your next door neighbor or churchgoing companion, that you might choose to employ nonetheless since the person meets all your other requirements.

Monitoring your Care.

Set up a schedule to monitor the standard of the services the caregiver supplies. This is particularly essential for family members. Do that by making personal contact with the caregiver and home visits with the elderly, and receiving periodic reports from the caregiver and the caregiver agency. Consider employing an independent care supervisor to monitor if you’re not able to do it yourself.

Always have a backup plan in case the caregiver or the agency fails to follow through or issues arise. Look for signs of abuse, neglect, and exploitation and report suspicious activity to the bureau and state governments.

For more information, please fill out the contact form in our Contact Us page and we will get back to you as soon as possible. You can also visit and like us at our Facebook Page.

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