Old age often requires special care. The many conditions that accompany old age may make it difficult for elderly people to care for themselves and live their daily lives on their own. Although some elderly people choose to live in a senior care facility once they become unable to care for themselves, there are some who choose to live in their own home with the help of a caregiver.
If you have decided that living at home is the right choice for you or an elderly loved one and you are considering getting the services of a caregiver, then choosing the right one is vital. Here are some tips to help you:
- Assess your needs and the kind of care that you want. The kind of care you or your elderly loved one will need depends on your specific health conditions and personal preferences. Consider any medications that will need to be regularly administered, your handicap accessibility options, and any other care services that you will need help with.
- Set some criteria for the caregiver that you want. Once you have assessed your needs and you have determined the kind of care that you want, you can set the minimum criteria for your caregiver. Do not forget to consider other specifics such as gender, age, and other details. With the kind of care that you have determined you want and the criteria you have set, create a job description that you can share when someone asks about applying as a caregiver.
- Create a contract. To avoid any future confusion when it comes to what the job entails and your obligations to each other, create a caregiver contract. Set out the terms of employment and what specific services and assistance the caregiver will be required to provide to you or your elderly loved one. Make sure to show this caregiver contract to the person you would potentially hire. This is an opportunity for the two of you to discuss the specifics of the contract and to make any changes that you agree on.
- Interview as many potential caregivers as you can. It may seem tedious and tiring, but interviewing potential candidates is a must before you hire anyone. It will help you get to know the person better – there’s nothing quite like face-to-face interaction to help you determine whether you and your caregiver will get along well. Rapport is very important between an elderly person and his or her caregiver, so do not hesitate to interview as many potential caregivers as you can. Sometimes you might have to go through many potential candidates before you find the one that feels right to you.
- Ask for references. Always ask a potential caregiver for references, preferably at least two. Some people who are looking for caregivers ask for references but do not actually check on these references. Take some time to contact any references provided and ask them what they think of the person you are considering employing.
- Research their work experience. The value in extensive work experience cannot be underestimated. Ask for detailed work experience to help you determine whether he or she is right fit for you and the kind of care you need.
- Get a criminal background check. It is not paranoia to do a criminal background check on potential candidates. You can never be too careful especially since the kind of work he or she will take on requires high levels of trust and reliability.
- Have a trial period. Once you have someone that you want to hire, hire him or her first on a trial basis. This will help you and your potential caregiver determine whether the job is the right fit for both of you. It is especially important to have ways to monitor the potential caregiver especially if you are hiring for an elderly loved one. Install CCTVs or nanny cameras in your home to help you monitor their daily activities even when you are not around.