How to Find a Caregiver

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find a caregiver for your loved one can be an emotional process. The family caregiving team needs to work together to establish a trusting relationship.

Caregiver stress can also be reduced by joining a support group. These groups provide validation, encouragement and problem-solving strategies for challenging situations. They can also offer practical help, such as transportation, meal delivery or homemaking services.

Ask for Referrals

Whether employed by a care agency or working independently, the people who choose to work in non-medical home health care have one thing in common: a passion for helping others. In addition to their professional qualifications, these caregivers typically have innate personality traits that make them suitable for caring for elderly patients, those in post-op recovery and individuals with chronic conditions.

A good caregiver can make all the difference in a loved one’s life. However, finding the right caregiver can be difficult, especially if you don’t know where to start.

Creating and implementing a caregiver referral program is an effective way to find the best candidates. Be sure to set SMART goals, and monitor results over time. Consider offering a variety of incentives to attract the best caregivers.

Home Care Agencies

Home care agencies employ their own caregivers and send them to your loved one’s home for personal care services. The services can be medical or non-medical. Medical caregivers are licensed nurses or nursing assistants; non-medical caregivers help with daily living tasks, such as bathing and meal preparation.

A benefit of home care agency services is that they are supervised. Professional agencies perform background checks and contact previous employers. In the rare event that a family has an issue with a caregiver, the agency can take steps to terminate employment or address the situation. This type of service is less expensive than hiring privately.

A drawback of home care agencies is that they typically require a more formal interview process than a private hire. This includes a written job description, a criminal record check and reference verification.

Direct-Hire Agencies

Having trusted help around can make all the difference for a caregiver who is caring for a loved one with a chronic illness or disability. This help can allow the caregiver to run errands, take their loved one to doctor appointments, go for walks or spend time with friends, and even get some rest.

Home care agencies can offer a variety of services, including background checks, interviews and training. In addition, they can manage payroll by withholding and reporting taxes such as Social Security, Medicare, state income tax and federal unemployment insurance.

Indirectly hiring an independent caregiver can be more affordable, but the responsibilities of managing their pay (including performing safety checks and verification of current certifications, etc.), and the family’s tax responsibility falls on the family.

Social Media

The social media pages of home care agencies can serve as valuable recruitment tools. Facebook for business offers the opportunity to create a dedicated page that helps showcase an agency’s brand, culture and services. Instagram is a popular platform that should be used to portray the lifestyle your agency offers. Instagram ads can be very effective in reaching caregivers and attracting them to your hiring process.

Social media also provides a forum for caregivers to connect with others online who empathize and can offer first-hand advice. Time-strapped caregivers can also utilize social media to research businesses and services by reading reviews on Yelp, Pinterest and other sites. Just be careful to monitor for scammers that are targeting caregivers in particular. These scams can include “granny” scams and solicitations for fake charities.

Support Groups

While caring for a loved one can be fulfilling, it is also emotionally and physically exhausting. Without the right support, caregivers can become burnt out, which makes them less capable of providing quality care.

Support groups provide a safe community for caregivers to share their experiences and learn from others. Some support groups also focus on specific conditions or diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, and can offer participants helpful coping strategies and resources.

Many groups are affiliated with local charities, organizations, and coalitions that can help caregivers find a home health aide or other services. These groups can also connect caregivers with useful resources, such as stress management classes and exercise programs. There is a saying, “You can’t fill your cup from an empty well.” Filling your own emotional and mental cup makes it easier to care for your loved one.

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