For seniors who wish to remain in their own homes or live with other family members, there may come a point where they need help. Hiring a professional to assist them may become necessary. But how can you find the right professional? How do you know what questions to ask? How can you make sure you find a qualified caregiver?
The All-Important Interview
Having potential caregivers interview is an essential part of the hiring process. This is your opportunity to ask them all the questions you want answered before hiring them to care for your loved one. The interview should include:
Experience questions: You want to know what kind of experience the caregiver has with other seniors who may have the same or similar conditions faced by your elder family member. Asking how he or she handled situations that you may have already faced is a great way to see how he or she thinks. Find out if the caregiver has first aid or any other specialized training that may help in caring for your elder.
Scheduling or logistics questions: Does the caregiver have reliable transportation? Can he or she commit to working the hours needed? What about other commitments (i.e., is the caregiver working other jobs, or have children or family members that he or she is responsible for?) Will he or she accept the rate of pay you can afford and work with you to ensure taxes and insurance are appropriately handled?
Legal questions: Will the caregiver submit to a background check? Can he or she demonstrate the legal right to work? Will he or she sign a contract specifying “no ability or right to receive gifts over a certain value” from the senior? Will he or she agree to be monitored on a security camera?
If you are interested in the candidate, and the interview went well, you now have the opportunity to talk to people for whom he or she previously worked. This is an invaluable opportunity to find out what kind of employee your candidate is. On time? How does he handle emergencies? What kind of track record does she have? Did he ever show a temper? Were there ever signs or symptoms of abusive behavior? Now is the time to ask.
Assuming that all goes well, it may still be worthwhile to hire the caregiver on a probationary basis for the first 30-90 days to ensure that the match is a good one. Be wary of any significant changes in your loved one’s behavior; watch for signs or symptoms of physical or sexual abuse, and do not hesitate to reach out for legal help if you suspect anything. Contact a Siegel Law attorney who specializes in elder care abuse at (562) 645-4145.