Tips for Hiring an In-Home Caregiver


Hiring an in-home caregiver can alleviate some of the burden on family members caring for an aging loved one. If you decide to provide your loved one with in-home care, rather than moving them to an assisted living community or a nursing home, it’s important to take due diligence and find out exactly who you are hiring. Take as much care, or more, as you would in choosing a nursing home or an assisted living facility.

Using an Agency to Find In-Home Care
You may consider going through an agency to find in-home care, as they will perform background checks and check references for you. Additionally, if you go through an agency, the caregiver is an employee or contractor of the agency, not of you. This relieves you of paying unemployment insurance, or social security tax or issuing a W2 or 1099 tax form to the employee or contractor. In other words, you’re merely paying for a service, not becoming an employer hiring an individual. This keeps things less complicated at a time when you have enough to worry about.

The agency should be willing to provide background check information, drug and TB test results, and also show proof of insurance and any certifications if your caregiver will be providing specialized care. Ask about the training provided to any caregivers in the agency, too.

Types of In-home Caregivers
There are different types of caregivers with different knowledge, experience and credentials. You may simply need housekeeping and companionship assistance for your loved one and, in this case, the person may not have any special certifications.

A personal care worker can assist with meals and medication reminders, but cannot dispense medicine or provide personal hygiene care.

A certified nursing assistant or home health aide has specialized education and certifications or credentials and can help with personal care, as well as monitor the health of your loved one.

At the top of the spectrum are skilled care workers, who may be able to assist with physical therapy, wound care and other medical needs, in addition to personal care.

Once you identify the type of in-home caregiver you need, you’ll know better where to look and what questions to ask during the interview process.

Choosing a Caregiver
Whether you go through an agency, a geriatric care manager, or hire privately, there are several things you want to look for in a caregiver and steps you should take before making the decision. Here are some tips.

  • Do your own background check; don’t just rely on the agency’s word.
  • Ask the agency for references on the caregiver, and check them.
  • Do a Google search to find out everything you can about the caregiver. You are inviting this person into your loved one’s home and entrusting your loved one in their care. You deserve to know everything they’ve made public about themselvees through social media. Just be sure you’re looking into the right person.
  • Interview the caregiver with your loved one present. Make sure their personalities mesh well. You want someone your loved one will be comfortable with. Often, caregivers become close friends and companions to those in their care.

After You’ve Hired a Caregiver
Once you’ve hired a caregiver, drop in, unannounced frequently to see how he or she is treating your loved one.

You may also want to re-direct mail to your house so you can keep tabs on credit card statements and sensitive information. Trusting someone to care for your loved one with compassion and dignity and trusting them with sensitive financial information are two very different things, and there’s no need to create temptation.

SeniorLiving.Net is a free service for families to use that are looking for senior care or senior living for a loved one. Call (866) 342-4297 to speak to your local Care Advisor about senior care providers in your local area.