How to Find a Caregiver

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Caregivers often describe a loss of social life as friends may be uncomfortable inviting them as individuals and instead invite their spouse or partner. This can be very stressful for caregivers.

Some families choose to hire a private independent caregiver instead of using a homecare agency. This can have some pros and cons.
1. Ask for Referrals

One of the best ways to find a caregiver is through personal referrals. A trusted friend may know of a qualified home health aide they trust. While this approach is often less expensive than using an agency, you assume ultimate responsibility for background checks, verification of credentials and employment references, and tax reporting.

Prepare a clear job description describing the type of care you need. In addition, clearly communicate what the incentives are (e.g., cash bonuses, paid vacation time, gift cards, etc.). Ongoing communication keeps the program front and center, helps generate sustained interest, and rewards good referrers.
2. Post a Job

Regardless of the method you use to hire caregivers, you should always have a backup plan in case the person you hired doesn’t work out. There are plenty of reasons why this may happen:

Posting jobs to find caregivers can be an effective strategy, especially if you are looking for someone with specific skills or qualifications. Be sure to prepare a job description that outlines the duties and responsibilities of the position. In addition, it is helpful to have a list of questions for potential applicants and to interview several candidates before making a decision.
3. Post a Job on Social Media

Unfortunately, there are caregivers out there whose hearts may not be in the right place or who may abuse a loved one physically, emotionally, sexually, or financially. Finding the right caregiver can take a lot of time and effort, but it is worth it. In addition to using traditional methods, you can also post a job on social media or in community bulletin boards. This is a low-cost option that can provide visibility and generate leads. Attending local home care-related community events, such as wellness fairs and caregiver training sessions, can also be an effective way to gain visibility and establish a presence locally.
4. Post a Job on Craigslist

Craigslist is one of the most popular websites used for job ads. However, you should be very cautious when hiring a caregiver through this method as you may be inviting a stranger into your loved ones’ home.

Be sure to ask the caregiver questions about their credentials, licenses, and experience. Also, be clear about what duties you want them to perform and if any specialized care is required. For instance, does your loved one have pets? Does he/she smoke? If so, do you want the caregiver to clean around that?
5. Ask for References

When interviewing a potential caregiver, make sure to ask for references. It can be awkward calling a previous employer, but it is important to get a clear picture of who the person will be working for you and your loved one.

Be sure to ask open-ended questions that will allow the reference to talk about their experience with the applicant. For example, you can ask about their communication skills, whether they worked on time, and how they handled any complaints or concerns.

After you have interviewed applicants and checked their references, you should meet in-person with those who seem like they will be a good fit for your needs. If possible, have your loved one present for the interview.
6. Ask for a Reference from the Agency

If you choose to work with a home care agency, be sure to ask for references. This is a vital step in any hiring process, particularly when someone will be working inside your family’s home and intimately involved with your loved one.

Home care agencies can be a good option for families who don’t have time to interview and hire their own caregivers. They typically screen caregivers, provide credentials and handle important paperwork like contracts and legal matters. They may also offer back-up caregivers if regular caregivers are unavailable.
7. Ask for a Reference from the Agency

Home care agencies are one of the most common and fastest ways to find caregivers. They typically have a pool of workers they can send to your loved one right away, as well as built-in backup care in case a caregiver gets sick or has a day off.

If you choose to use a home care agency, ask them for references and make sure to check their credentials, licensing, and experience. The agency will likely have a contract that you need to read over and sign, as well as other documents such as a meal and travel reimbursement agreement.

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