7 Things to Do Before Hiring a Caregiver

7 Things to Do Before Hiring a Caregiver
Dawn Allcot, 10/7/2015


Choosing a Caregiver for your loved one is not easy. You must play the role of detective, psychologist, and HR professional to find a Caregiver who is the right fit. There’s no need to feel intimidated – with HomeCare.com’s expert Care Advisors, we will guide you through the process to alleviate the stress associated with doing it alone. Follow these steps before you choose a Caregiver for your loved one. We will be here to help you through each step.

1. Ask the right questions during the interview.

Ask questions that will help you not only learn the facts, but discern the character of your prospective Caregiver. During the interview ask for additional details that may not appear on his or her resume. Knowing what kind of people the person has cared for in the past will help you assess their specialized knowledge and capabilities. Verify the candidate is able to work the hours that your loved one needs, whether transportation is part of his or her care services, and his or her favorite and least favorite aspects of being a Caregiver. This will provide insight into the practical aspects of their reliability, as well as the candidate’s personality. Dive deeper, too. Present the candidate with scenarios and ask how they would handle each situation. Some examples include: “My father with Alzheimer’s refuses to take his medicine? How do you react?” “My mother falls while getting into the tub. What’s the first thing you do?” “After weeks of eating scrambled eggs for dinner, now my grandmother announces she doesn’t like them anymore. What do you do?” Also, you should consider asking questions about how the Caregiver has reacted to different scenario in the past. Some questions might include: “Have you ever had a patient sun-downing? What did you do?” “Have you ever spotted a medical problem in a client before the doctor’s noticed? Can you tell me about that situation?” “Can you describe a typical day on the job with your last client?” Open-ended questions that require more than a yes or no response help you get to know the caregiver better.

2. Remember to ask about the candidate’s credentials, education, and certifications.

Certifications and education are as important as past experience and personality. Although Caregivers with certifications such as, Certified Personal Care Aide (CPCA), Home Health Aide (HHA), or Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) command higher salaries, they bring a higher level of knowledge and expertise to the position. They may also be qualified to perform tasks that uncertified Caregivers cannot. HomeCare.com credentials every Caregiver in our network – you can feel assured that candidates have been vetted and meet high Professional Caregiver standards.

3. Check references.

Checking at least two references is recommended. These may include both personal and professional references. It is legally permissible to ask prior employers about former employees, although some companies have policies that limit what managers and coworkers can say about former employees. During the reference check, ask the reason the employee left, the person’s best and worst traits, and if they are eligible for re-hire. Remember, not every person is a fit for every job and, sometimes, employers and workers just don’t get along. But if you notice red flags after reference checking, perhaps further reflection is required prior to making a decision.

4. Use the Internet to your advantage.

Search for the person’s name and see what turns up. If the candidate has a common name, add the city or job title to the search. Make certain to check his or her social media profiles. Some people may hesitate to accept friend or connection requests from someone they aren’t friends with. This alone may not be a reason for concern, but if it’s combined with other warning signs, it could be a reason to steer clear.

5. Run a background check.

Ten percent of background checks uncovered a criminal history in job applicants, while 44 percent revealed issues with the applicant’s driving record, which could indicate a problem with alcohol abuse, recklessness, or simply carelessness. A background check is critical to help ensure the safety of your loved one and the security of your belongings before letting a Caregiver into the home. Fortunately, HomeCare.com takes care of this important step by requiring every Caregiver to pass a rigorous background screening prior to joining the network. Furthermore, we require an annual background screening to make certain our clients are protected.

6. Trust your instincts.

Did your prospective caregiver interview well? Do you feel confident after reviewing references, online presence, and social media profiles? Does the candidate have a strong medical background and work history? Even if everything looks good on paper, a Caregiver might not be the right choice for you and your family. Follow your instincts – you need to feel that you can trust the person.

7. Ask your loved one’s opinion.

Remember to enlist your loved one, if possible, in the selection process. Your loved one may listen in on the initial interview, and even ask questions. Your loved one will be in this person’s care. His or her opinion matters most when it comes to choosing the right Caregiver.
Dawn Allcot

Dawn Allcot

Dawn Allcot is a full-time freelance writer, editor, and social media specialist who excels in getting businesses noticed online through informative, accessible content marketing. With more than 20 years editorial experience, she’s written and published thousands of articles on topics that include parenting, personal finance, technology, health, business, and senior care.