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A Guide for Hiring a Caretaker for Your Senior Loved One

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When it comes time for your senior to receive outside care, finding the right solution can be a daunting process for family members and loved ones. However, the more informed you are, the easier it becomes. Careage has some helpful tips for hiring care for your loved one.

Determine the Kind of Care Your Loved One Needs

Some seniors need around-the-clock care or specialized medical assistance, and others may only need help with certain chores or medication management. Because there is a range of different types of caregivers, from Assistive Care Providers who are not licensed and have minimal training, all the way up to Registered Nurses who have specialized degrees and licenses, determining your loved one’s needs is an important first step. Go through a typical day with them, making notes about what they are handling well on their own and where they need assistance. These notes will help you as you start your search.

Get Help from Professionals, Referral Services, & Trusted Friends

You want to start your search with reputable sources. Talking to your loved one’s doctor is a good place to start. Medicare’s Home Health Compare is a useful tool for finding home health agencies in your area. If you are looking for independent caregivers, your state government website may have a home healthcare provider registry, like this one. There are also private online registries that you can consult. Some will help match you with an appropriate caregiver for a fee. Local hospitals may also have a list of resources that they can direct you to. Finally, If you or your loved one has friends that have been through the process, you can get valuable insight from them as well.

Ask Questions in the Interview Stage

When you get to the interview process, make sure you have a list of questions ready that will help narrow your choices. Open-ended questions are best to really get to know the candidate. You should ask specific questions about qualifications and experience such as:

  • Have you had caregiving experience for someone with dementia, mobility issues or Parkinson’s (or whatever applies for your loved one’s needs)?
  • In what setting was the position?
  • What did you like or not like about the work?
  • What was that like for you?

You and your loved one should interview applicants together in their home if possible. Watching your loved one interact with candidates will tell you a lot about whether it’s a good fit.

Follow Up With References & Background Checks

Make sure that the candidate lists quality references on their resume. You will want to talk to former employers and supervisors, not just colleagues or friends. If you are interviewing an independent caregiver, you might also want to conduct a background check. You can do this through a private agency or the police department. You will need to have written permission to do so, so be sure to ask during the interview.

Above all, it’s important to take your time and trust your instincts and that of your loved one when searching out care. Although it can be a complicated process, watching your loved one receive proper care will be worth it in the end. For more information about caring for your senior loved one, contact Careage Senior Living.

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