When a senior needs support to help them manage the activities of daily living, an in-home caregiver can provide assistance that makes it possible for them to live more independently. Hiring the right people to fill this role is important, and there are several considerations and qualifications you need to weigh to make the best choice. Here are 5 tips to help you through the process:
Know the difference between an independent caregiver and an agency
Independent caregivers operate on their own without any affiliation to an organization or agency. Their salaries vary depending on the caregiver’s training and skill level.
Licensed home care agencies typically have to follow and meet a set of state guidelines. These are important standards for operating home care services such as conducting thorough pre-employment screenings and providing liability insurance. Some provide a range of services from basic non-medical assistance to more advanced personal care needs. While in-home care can be more expensive, these providers handle federal and state employment tax withholding which can be a significant benefit. Agencies can also provide substitutes if the regular caregiver is unable to work on a particular day.
Know the senior’s needs to guide the hiring process:
Each senior needs individualized care and caregivers’ duties can range from housekeeping to help with hygiene and medical-related assistance. It’s a good idea to have a conversation with the senior’s primary care physician to get feedback on the type of services that would be beneficial. Also, consider special needs such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease. Certain conditions require specialized skills from the in-home care provider.
Include the family and seniors in the interview:
Once you know what a senior’s needs are and applicants’ qualifications are reviewed, it’s time for interviews. Interviews should include the person to be cared for and at least one other family member to gauge whether the applicant is a good fit for the whole family.
Background checks are essential:
Detailed background checks for in-home caregivers help ensure a senior’s safety and the safety of their home and property. Licensed home care agencies will conduct background checks, drug screenings, and provide pre-employment training to their employees. If you’re hiring an independent caregiver you will need to consider how you plan to handle that responsibility. In most states, you can apply for a caregiver background check using an official state government website or hire a third party to conduct it. You should conduct reference checks and set up your own guidelines for performance expectations. You want to trust the person you’re hiring, and knowing you’ve done proper screenings and preparations gives the family and senior confidence in the hire.
Make sure a care plan is in place:
Before you finish the hiring process, there should be a care plan in place that outlines the caregiver’s responsibilities.
Care plans should include:
- The specific duties and frequency you expect to be handled regularly by the caregiver.
- A profile of the person being cared for including emergency contacts, medical information, and an overview of what their typical day looks like.
- Quality of life goals such as helping the senior improve their diet, getting outside for a walk or some gardening, or bringing them to a community activity to promote socialization.
Discuss the plan with prospective caregivers to get feedback and address any concerns or questions. Once the plan is in place it’s a good idea to review and revise it periodically.
High-quality in-home care in Nashville, TN
Blakeford At Home provides skilled caregivers who are ready to assist you. Our personalized in-home care service plans ensure you or your loved one gets an appropriate level of care that meets activity of daily living, health, and lifestyle needs. Contact us today to learn more about how our caregivers can help seniors live more independently at home.