Home care is now needed and you have decided to contact a local in-home agency rather than hire someone yourself. Grocery shopping, cooking, bathing, and laundry has become too much to handle.
Hiring a professional caregiver to come into the home means that you are going to be dealing with many people coming and going from here on out. The only consistent relationship you will have in this hiring process is the one you establish with the owner of the care agency.
Four Action Steps:
- Before you contact the agency, take a moment to write down a job description of the helper. What specific tasks are needed. Create a written list.
- Contact the care agency and ask the following questions:
- How do you screen employee candidates for a good fit?
- What is the process for informing me of changes in employees?
- What is the procedure if the employee arrives late or not at all?
- What if we do not like the employee?
- Are in-home services covered by insurance?
- Candidate screening over the telephone or a virtual meeting works well for the initial meeting. Invite a family member or friend to sit in and offer a second opinion. Ask each job candidate the following questions:
- What makes you interested in this kind of work?
- Where did you work before and why did you leave that position?
- Why do you think you are well suited for this job?
- What special skills do you bring to the table?
- Do you have any physical needs that might hinder you in this job?
- Do you have a car and a driver’s license?
- Do you like pets?
- How will you let me know if you will be late or cannot show up for work?
- Make it easier for the job candidate to integrate into his or her role:
- Provide a written job description.
- Describe the capabilities of the person needing care.
- Provide a written list of emergency contacts.
- Names of pets and emergency contact information of vet.
- List any estranged relationships and ex-spouses who should not be allowed access.
There are a lot of moving parts to the professional-caregiver hiring process. What I am offering in this blog are the basics so as not to overwhelm you.
For a more comprehensive version of what to do and questions to ask before hiring in-home professionals, you may want to pick up a copy of my book, The Complete Eldercare Planner.