5 Simple Steps to Choosing an In-Home Caregiver
Hiring an in-home caregiver for your older loved one is a huge decision, and it’s normal to feel nervous or overwhelmed as you begin the process. You want to make sure the caregiver you choose is trustworthy, compassionate, capable of meeting your loved one’s needs, and compatible with his or her personality.
Selecting a caregiver doesn’t have to be stressful. You can do several things in advance to reduce anxiety and increase the chances of a smooth home care experience.
Here are five simple steps to help you select the right in-home caregiver:
1. Consider Your Loved One’s Needs
You’ve decided home care is the best option for your loved one, so it’s time to consider what type of home care assistance is needed. Start by making a list that includes:
- Specific tasks needed (meal preparation, housekeeping, shopping, dressing/grooming, toileting, transportation, recreational activities, etc.)
- Physical/emotional limitations or health considerations
- Times of day when assistance is typically required
- Any personal preferences and requests
- Caregiver qualities (personality traits, qualifications, training, etc.)
Seek input from your loved one when creating this list. He or she may be able to provide valuable information that will increase your chances of finding the right caregiver. It may also be a good idea to include other family caregivers in the process.
2. Gather Recommendations
Ask for in-home care recommendations from family, friends, community organizations, and medical providers. Someone you know may have personal experience with an in-home caregiver and could provide a helpful referral and some advice about the caregiver selection process.
3. Set Up a Consultation
If you think an in-home care agency might be best, schedule a consultation. Visiting Angels, for example, offers no-cost, no-obligation in-home consultations designed to assess your loved one’s needs, provide expert guidance, and answer your questions about costs, available services, and the caregiver selection process. It may be helpful to prepare a list of home care questions in advance and arrange for your loved one and other family caregivers to participate.
4. Schedule Caregiver Interviews
Caregiver interviews are the most crucial part of the process. Make arrangements with the agency or individual for an in-home interview with you, your senior, and other family caregivers. Don’t forget to prepare a list of questions for the caregiver in advance.
Pay attention to the caregiver’s personality and answers to your questions as well as how your loved one reacts to the caregiver. At Visiting Angels, the Select Your Caregiver® program allows you and your loved one to choose a caregiver.
5. Hire and Follow Up
Discuss your choice with your loved one and other family caregivers to get their perspectives. When you’re ready, reach out to the individual or agency to make final hiring arrangements.
Conduct ongoing follow-up to ensure everything is going according to your expectations. Keep in mind there is often an adjustment period as your loved one and his or her caregiver get used to each other. Sometimes, all it takes is an honest conversation with you, your loved one, and your caregiver to resolve any issues that come up during the initial transition.
Our Visiting Angels care coordinators are available to discuss your loved one’s needs during a free home care consultation.