Perhaps you’ve already chosen an agency and are now evaluating the individual caregiver who will care for your loved one. Maybe you’re not even that far along in the process. Either way, having a few essential criteria in mind will help you choose the right person for both you and your family member with confidence as you interview potential caregivers.
- Who does the caregiver work for? If you’ve already chosen a home health service, this may seem like an unimportant question. But it’s not! If the agency you’ve chosen doesn’t directly employ and insure the caregiver, it’s probably time to go back to the drawing board and choose a new firm. If the caregiver is an independent contractor, that makes you their employer. This means you may be on the hook for taxes, insurance, and other expenses. Using a reputable agency that background checks, bonds, and insures the caregivers they employ is a vital part of your search.
- What type of experience does the caregiver have? Finding a caregiver that is tenured in the field is important, but even more critical is that they have knowledge and experience that pertains to the particular needs of your loved one. In some cases a caregiver needs specific certifications to provide the best care; discussing your loved one’s medical history with your home health service will help them find you the best possible matches in terms of training and qualifications.
- Does the caregiver have the right personality? This can be the most important and difficult factor to assess in choosing a caregiver. Observe the caregiver’s temperament and ask yourself if they will be a good fit for your loved one. You may want to have your elderly family member available during the interview so you can see them meet the potential caregiver. Even the most experienced and qualified candidate can’t provide the best care if their personality clashes with that of your aging loved one.
- Does the caregiver have references? The caregiver should be able to provide you with a list of references that includes patients with similar cases to that of your loved one and health care professionals with whom they’ve worked in the past. Hearing positive feedback from the caregiver’s clients and associates provides peace of mind that you’re choosing the right person for both you and you loved one.
Choosing a caregiver is an important and difficult decision. By asking the right questions, you can find a caregiver that both you and your loved one can depend on and feel good about.