Having the right caregiver providing home care for aging seniors is paramount. The right person will greatly reduce worry about needs being met and that the senior is being kept safe.
The first decision to make is whether you want to go through an agency or hire privately.
Each route has its pros and cons.
Hiring through an agency means the person has been screened. Their salary deductions and their off-time are managed by the agency.
Hiring privately means you will be responsible for interviewing, screening, paying the person directly and arranging off-time yourself.
There are certain questions you will need to ask regardless of the route you choose. If you work with an agency, you will still want to interview the caregiver they plan to send before they start working for you.
Questions to Ask a Potential Caregiver:
1) What work experience do you have in caring for seniors who have had similar conditions?
Many medical conditions such as heart disease or diabetes require experienced caregivers. Seniors frequently have some type of cognitive decline and can get confused at night or when away from their home.
If your senior has Alzheimer’s disease, you want someone who has this experience since the senior may require extra patience and skill with communication.
Those with Alzheimer’s disease may not complain if they are developing a new medical problem so the caregiver has to be sharp in order to observe changes in their condition.
If you are working with an agency, tell them what qualities you feel are most important in a caregiver so they send you potential hires that meet these criteria.
2) What are your qualifications, how long have you worked and how were you trained to work in home care?
Nursing assistants are commonly the skill leve hired as home caregivers though sometimes a licensed vocational nurse (LVN) is required if there are medications to be given.
You want to know if the person speaks English well or speaks the language of the senior.