Many families are faced with a hard choice: continue to care for a loved one when they can’t take care of themselves anymore or hire a home care provider. Many seniors’ care plans can benefit from a caregiver. To make sure everyone involved is comfortable with the home care situation, seniors’ loved ones need as much information about the caregiver as possible. Screening services like CheckPeople.com can reveal some very helpful facts.

A Background Check is a Supreme Form of Trust

Making sure a candidate is responsible and trustworthy should be one’s chief goal when hiring. Taking the time to screen potential caregivers is essential to choosing the best person for the job.

Before the Interview

Make sure you have the person’s full name, phone number, and address before you interview them. If you’re hiring through an agency, get the current documents on worker’s compensation and personal insurance from them. If not, get them directly from your candidate. You need to be aware of their current health status, including immunizations and TB shots.

You also need a photo ID and Social Security number to be able to screen the candidate. References from past employers and clients and documentation about services, which the caregiver is certified or trained to provide (such as dementia care or CPR) should be available.

A referral from a loved one or friend is a good place to start regardless of whether someone plans to hire a caregiver separately or use an agency. Follow up with these questions if you’re hiring through an agency:

  • Who will supervise the caregiver?
  • What training does your agency offer its employees?
  • What type of background checks are performed on caregivers?
  • If a caregiver cannot come to work, what measures do you take?
  • Can your agency offer my relative transport?
  • What fees does the agency cost include?

Their responses can help you and your family choose the best home care provider for the job, depending on the senior’s unique circumstances.

During the Interview

Experts recommend conducting more than a single interview with a potential caregiver because you normally don’t get enough information to make a solid decision from just one. It’s best to hold three interviews: a phone screening, an in-person interview for applicants who pass the first interview, and a second in-person interview where your senior meets the best applicants.

After the interview series, we recommend arranging a trial period. This is because someone can seem like a good choice theoretically but will not be in practice. Before making the job permanent, try to agree on a brief trial phase. Of course, assure them they’ll be paid for it and do so regardless of the outcome – unless the outcome is absolutely dreadful, which isn’t likely. Worse comes to worst, you’ll find your parent and the caregiver aren’t a good match.

Don’t be afraid to ask them how they would act in circumstances your senior frequently finds themselves in. If the senior has incontinence or dementia, ask them what they would do if they refuse to take their medication or get cleaned up. Have no qualms about inquiring into any past and relevant experiences they might have had.

Call Their References

In the hiring process, it’s a good idea to call the references they’ve provided even if the interviews went excellently. Ask if they would hire the caregiver again, how they did on the job, and if they’d recommend the caregiver. It’s also smart to check for criminal history in each state where your applicant has lived or worked. Older people are at the greatest risk for abuse and fraud.

Create a Contract

Now you’ve checked everything, and you’re ready to hire the person long-term. It’s important to have an employment contract with an in-home care provider. It should include the hours and schedule, a detailed job description, the rate and payment term, and anything else you agreed on.

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