America’s population is aging, and senior citizens are projected to make up a greater percentage of the population over the next few decades. Nearly 100 million Americans will be 65 or older by 2060. Many families are opting to hire a caregiver to help manage the day-to-day needs of home-bound seniors.
Interviewing caregiver candidates for an aging parent can be a difficult task, especially if you have never experienced hiring a caregiver before. The tips in this blog will explain your options for in-home help.
What Are My Options for Caregivers?
Living out one’s Golden Years doesn’t necessarily require living in a retirement home or senior housing. Many families are seeing the benefits of home care assistance, which allows their aging parents to remain in a familiar environment.
Home Health and Personal Care Aides
If you are looking to offer your elderly relative the best home care experience, you might come across two basic options for caregivers. Personal care aides attend to an elderly client’s personal needs and help with daily chores. Home health aides perform basic medical tasks like checking blood pressure and managing medications in addition to many of the tasks a personal care aide might do.
Agency Vs Private Caregiver
When searching for either type of caregiver, you’ll have the option of hiring an agency or a private caregiver. There are several advantages to working with reputable agencies that have proven track records of providing safe and compassionate care.
At Adultcare Assistance Homecare, we maintain the highest standards for our caregivers. A few of these benefits include:
- Professional liability insurance
- Ongoing caregiver training and supervision
- Comprehensive background checks by AZ certified specialists
- Arizona Department of Public Safety clearance card
- Drug screening for caregivers
Our caregivers are supervised employees who are dedicated to providing the highest levels of care for your family. We do not send unsupervised contract workers to work as caregivers. If you are exploring options for caregivers, work with a trusted agency that has a strong and respected track record.
Questions to Ask an Agency
Don’t settle for the nearest or cheapest agency you find. The quality of caregiver agencies ranges widely. During your visit to a caregiver agency, consider asking the following questions.
- How long has your agency been in business?
- What values drive your business?
- How will your agency handle potential complaints?
- Does your business drug screen employees?
- Will I see the same caregiver each week or do they rotate?
- How are your caregivers vetted before being hired?
You can learn a lot from how the employees at an agency greet and treat you. If an agency’s team appears motivated and excited to be performing their job, consider that a plus. If the staff is slow to return calls or if they sound short on the phone, consider that a red flag.
Find the Right Caregiver for Your Family
By asking the right interview questions and following the tips below, you enjoy the benefits of a great home care experience.
Going the Private Caregiver Route
If you prefer to go the route of hiring a private caregiver, you’ll need to complete several steps. First, you’ll need to find caregiver candidates. You can always ask friends and relatives for the name of a trusted caregiver agency or private caregiver.
Staffing agencies are often good sources of vetted referrals. You can also visit online eldercare matching services for some help.
A job description should include a description of the elderly parent and his or her personal and medical needs. The document should include an estimate of how many hours of help are needed every day and week.
Pay rates should also be included. Speaking to an agency representative can save you from having to go through this step.
Be Flexible on Pay
Agencies work on fixed rates that help you plan your eldercare expenses. If you are looking to hire an independent caregiver, be prepared to meet a wide range of pay caregiver fees that are based on experience.
Schedule Multiple Interviews
Once you have several candidates (either through referrals or staffing agency recommendations), schedule initial phone interviews. During these phone calls, ask the candidates:
- If they are willing to undergo a background check
- How many years of experience they have
- Why they became caregivers
- What their availability is
- What their expected pay rate is
Once you have completed the initial interviews, narrow the pool of candidates down to two or three candidates. Then, schedule in-person interviews and allow the candidate to meet the relative they will be potentially caring for.
Phone interviews are great, but in-person meetings allow you to better assess whether a caregiver is a right match for your family.
What to Look for When Interviewing Caregiver Candidates
During your in-person interview, dig deeper into how the candidate would handle certain situations. If your relative takes medications, ask how the caregiver would handle situations where your relative refuses to take his or her medication.
If your elderly relative has problems with incontinence, ask the prospective hiree how he or she would handle a situation where your relative refused to change his or her soiled garment.
Follow-up with References
Candidates should provide several references. Take the time to call each person on that list and be sure to ask how long the reference has known the prospective caregiver.
The caregiver may be spending 40 hours a week caring for your loved one. Speaking to references can provide you with peace of mind when making important decisions about caregiving.
Sign a Contract
Once you have finalized a caregiver, have the new caregiver sign an employment contract. Contracts don’t need to be lengthy or full of legal jargon. The document needs to outline expectations.
Contracts can include expected work hours, pay rates and pay periods, and specific agreements. Once those details have been written down or typed up, both parties should sign and date the document.
We’re Here to Help When Hiring a Caregiver
If you go with an elder care agency, you can save yourself the hassle of having to do background checks. Agencies also handle all the payroll and taxes in-house. If you have issues with your caretaker, an agency can spare you from having to handle their termination.
Hiring a caregiver doesn’t have to be a complicated or stressful process. If you are looking for a trusted source of vetted caregivers, Adultcare Assistance Homecare maintains the highest standards for caregiver training and selection. To start the process of creating your personalized care plan, contact our office today.