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How to Find the Right Caregiver for Your Parent?


Sandeep Singh

When looking for a caregiver for an elderly or sick parent, finding someone who gets along with them well is more important than anything. If you’re about to start looking for the first time, it can be tough. But you must do it because there comes a time when you’re no longer able to care for them yourself.

Before you get started, take the time to run a background check on your shortlisted candidates. With the internet, this has become easier than ever. The professional will be responsible for their daily care and safety and will probably be spending a great deal of time with them in their home. You need someone you can trust completely.

Getting started

Posting an ad is an obvious first step unless you use an agency. Going the first route will save a lot of money. Take care to ensure you’ve written a clear description of the job responsibilities based on your parent’s needs, including medical ones. You must include all job tasks you will need the caregiver to handle.

Your parents may have undergone major life changes recently, like changed lifestyle habits due to an illness or loss of their spouse. While these changes can be painful to cope with at any age, late adulthood is particularly difficult because people are set in their habits. Maybe they spent the day doing certain things with their partner, and that’s all changed. You need to evaluate all of this carefully and also think about how the caregiver can help them cope.

Try to include the most crucial details in the ad. It should state the working hours, the most important tasks, and the payment terms.

How to interview candidates

Soon, people will start emailing or calling you, depending on your chosen method of contact. Make time for as many interviews as possible. If the professional will have to drive your parent around, ask about their vehicle and its roadworthiness. To avoid delays and high transport costs, give local candidates priority. Someone who’s from the same neighborhood will be most convenient for you and your parents.

Ask your candidate about their strengths and weaknesses and why they left their last job. Ask about their availability evenings and weekends, and perhaps inquire into their biggest challenges related to homecare.

Also, inquire if they’ve had any problems with previous clients because history can repeat itself. Tell them about any medication your parents are taking and any potential issues they might have. Their responses can be very helpful.

Screening is crucial to ensure your candidate is reliable and trustworthy. To do this, you need some basic data, like their name, address, and phone number. Screening for criminal records is imperative. You could also check their medical history. This includes TB shots, vaccines, and medical insurance information.

Payment terms

The only way this won’t apply is if you’re using a professional service to hire a caregiver. Agency fees are typically non-negotiable. Still, there are many reasons to do your own hiring. The agency will probably take a share of the caregiver’s payment or run a very rudimentary background check on the applicant, potentially putting your parents at risk.

To attract the best candidates, be flexible on the payment terms. Your rates should be experience-based. A professional with extensive experience will ask for a high rate, but that may be worth paying.

When trying to decide how much to pay, check the local rates. In case of doubt, propose a slightly higher than average payment. While a lower rate will still attract candidates, you might end up getting what you paid for.

Check references

You’ve shortlisted a few promising candidates, but you still need more details before making a commitment. Ask for previous employers to get in touch with.

Let’s say they provide contact details, and you get slightly negative feedback from the reference. Should you reject them? Not necessarily. This might have been due to circumstances beyond the person’s control, like personal issues or an unavoidable misunderstanding. The same kind of feedback from more than one former employer is a red flag if negative.

Some of your candidates might possess specialized skills, like working with Alzheimer’s patients or knowing CPR. You could ask for a certificate or other evidence of specialized training.