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How to Hire a Private Caregiver with Safety in Mind

Knowing how to hire a private caregiver who is reliable and trustworthy is necessary for families that want to provide their loved ones with the best care. There are a lot of potential private caregivers for hire, and the quality of care they provide isn’t guaranteed if they are not working with an accredited home care agency. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are more than 1.8 million personal care aide jobs in the U.S., and that number is expected to grow by a whopping 26% as more seniors and their families opt for in home care options.

If you are about to become one of the millions of people who depend on an in home caregiver, you know how nerve-wracking the process can be. It can be difficult to trust someone with the task of taking care of your loved one. After all, this person will have direct contact with your loved one and their home daily. Hiring a dependable private caregiver can be hard, and keeping your loved one’s safety in mind is vital. Here is a checklist to help you hire a private caregiver that you can trust with your loved one’s care.

Get Referrals for Caregivers

One of the best ways to find a trusted, reputable private caregiver is to ask around for recommendations. With home care becoming more popular, it’s likely that some of your friends, family, and neighbors are in a similar situation and have started looking for care options for their loved ones too. Having a recommendation from someone with firsthand experience can give you valuable insight and help you answer questions about having a private in home caregiver. You can also ask a doctor or medical professional for referrals for quality caregivers as well.

Contact Potential Candidates

Once you’ve found some potential caregivers, you are now ready to contact them over the phone and start scheduling in-person interviews. When you call them, explain your loved one’s needs and make sure the private caregiver has experience, training, and the physical ability to perform tasks like transferring or bathing.

If the screening goes well and you want to meet with them in person for an interview, you need to let the candidates know you will be checking their references and performing background checks. Before they arrive for the next interview, ask the caregiver to come with their social security card, driver’s license, listings of prior home addresses and references, and their resume.

Conduct Face-to-face Interviews

You can perform phone interviews, but the best way to get a feel for the potential caregiver’s personality and knowledge is by holding a face-to-face interview. In preparation for the interview, have some general questions ready as well as some questions specific to your loved one’s needs. It’s also a good idea to ask the private caregiver some questions about their chosen field: why do they want to be a caregiver, or what about caregiving do they enjoy?

During the interview, be sure the candidates understand what their responsibilities will be as well. Ideally, you’ll have these written down, with copies for you and each prospect. You might want to have each candidate sign your copy so you’re sure they’ve read the list and understand all the items on it.

If possible, it’s a good idea to have the person the caregiver will be tending to in the interview. Have your loved one by your side so they can ask the potential candidate questions too. This will also allow you to see how your loved one and the private caregiver get along and if this is a good fit for them.

Perform Background Checks

Performing background checks on potential private caregivers is a must. A background check can include credit reports, DMV records, and searching county, state, or federal criminal records. You also have to have the caregiver’s written consent before the background check can be performed. This is one of the biggest difficulties of hiring a private caregiver outside of an agency, as home care agencies background check their staff before hiring them.

Getting records yourself takes considerable work, and sometimes, the records may not be available to an individual. There are agencies, law offices, and private investigators that conduct background checks for a fee. Online background check companies can also help you. Do research to find an agency, office, or investigator that can perform background checks and make sure they get good reviews and ratings from the Better Business Bureau.

Check the Caregiver’s Credentials

Once you have a few prospective private caregivers after the background checks have been performed, you can narrow your list even further by checking out the candidate’s training, certifications, licenses, or any other professional credentials. Ask each candidate for a list of their credentials, then take the extra step to make sure their claims are legitimate by checking with the licensing agencies or training programs they list. For example, look for CPR training, first aid training, and additional certification courses.

Some background check agencies can perform these tasks for you as well. Remember, this private caregiver will be in direct contact with your loved one, so it’s important to do all you can to make sure they’re who they say they are.

After you’ve found a private caregiver who has passed the background check, had their credentials checked out, and meets your loved one’s needs, there are still some additional measures you can take to ensure your loved one’s safety.

Keep Valuables Under Lock and Key

To prevent things from wandering, it’s a good idea to secure valuables in a home safe or deposit box. If you choose to keep a safe in the home, make sure it’s concealed. Keep checks, credit cards, and other banking instruments locked up as well like social security cards, insurance papers, and other personal or financial documents.

Provide Cash for Errands in Advance

If you know the private caregiver will be running errands for your loved one, provide them with cash ahead of time. For example, if the caregiver is taking your loved one to the doctor, have a check made out to the medical practice with the amount filled in already. Even if you believe the private caregiver to be trustworthy, it’s a good idea not to let them handle your credit cards, bank card, checkbook, or blank checks. Finally, let the caregiver know you’ll need a receipt for any purchase or bill, including doctor’s bills, to keep for your records.

It is difficult trusting someone to provide care for your loved one. By taking the time to check potential private caregivers carefully, you can feel much more confident about your loved one’s care, well-being, and overall quality of life. If you feel that a private caregiver is not the right choice for your loved one, there are caregivers available from accredited agencies who have already been background checked and had their credentials reviewed. Reach out to us today if you are interested in receiving trustworthy in home care.

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