How do I find the right caregivers for my loved one?
We asked our geriatric care manager to weigh in. Here’s what she said:
There’s a lot you need to know about hiring caregivers. You can’t always be there yourself, but trusting a stranger with your loved one can feel like playing pin the tail on the donkey.
Way too much potential for getting it wrong.
There are plenty of horror stories in the news about unscrupulous, negligent or abusive caregivers who take advantage of frail elders.
Fortunately, there is plenty of information available to help you steer clear of trouble, whether you decide to hire your own caregivers or work with a home care agency. Here are some great resources:
Advice from the experts
You’re entrusting your loved with a stranger…you’d better know the right questions to ask! In this short video, the Director of Livable Communities at AARP advises families seeking a home care agency to ask detailed questions about employee training, references and emergency procedures.
If you’d rather hire your own caregivers, check out AARP’s article “Hiring a Home Care Worker”. It will help you with:
- Finding caregivers
- Considering applicants
- Conducting an interview
- Checking references
There are special considerations when hiring a caregiver for your loved one with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia. The Alzheimer’s Association’s article about In-Home Health Care recommends asking these questions:
- Are you trained in first aid and CPR?
- Do you have experience working with someone with dementia?
- Are you trained in dementia care?
- Are you able to manage our specific health and behavioral care needs?
The article describes the various types of home care services, and lists numerous useful resources for finding and comparing home health agencies.
AGIS.com – Assist Guide Information Services
AGIS has a wealth of unbiased information on all aspects of elder care. For families seeking to hire caregivers, the Home Care Support Services checklists are detailed and comprehensive, guiding you in asking all the right questions and defining your expectations. You can also access:
- Professional Caregiver Interview Forms
- Professional Caregiver Work Agreements
- Questions to ask when hiring a home care agency
Feeling a bit over your head?
Hiring the right caregiver is not a simple process and by now you may be feeling a little overwhelmed. It’s not impossible, but if you’re not up to going it alone, working with a geriatric care manager is an excellent option.
As we discussed in a recent post, a care manager can help you understand the types of care your loved one needs. He or she can map out a plan of care, hire qualified and compassionate caregivers, and coach them for you.
To many, in-home caregivers are angels. But you have to do your homework first. Take advantage of all the resources available. It’ll pay off dearly.
How a Geriatric Care Manager Can Make Life Easier