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Hiring a caregiver is vital for older adults who are no longer able to stay safely at home. An in-home helper can assist with personal daily routine as well as some light housekeeping. When you add a reliable caregiver to your support system, it takes some load off your shoulders in caring for your loved one and could give you significant peace of mind.

But how do you find the right person to stay at home with your senior?

Here’s a 10-steps guide to help you through the process:

#1. Assess your loved one’s care needs –

Start by assessing the specific needs of the person requiring care. What do you think is the level of assistance required?

The assistance is typically with personal care, medication management, or for safety companionship.

And the level can fall under minimum help, or maximum hands-on care as is the case if your loved one is confined to a bed or wheelchair.

#2. Research In-home care agencies –

Look for reputable in-home care agencies in your area. You can ask a friend who has had experience hiring one, or your primary doctor who may have a list of good resources for private care.

You can check for available online reviews and then check the agency’s credentials including home care license and liability insurance.

#3. Contact the home care agency –

Reach out to the agencies that seem suitable and then discuss your needs.

You can inquire about their caregiver screening process, training programs, and how they match caregivers with clients. This means matching the appropriate experience to the client’s care needs.

It also helps a lot if the personality of the caregiver complements that of the older adult.

Would you like someone who loves to talk with animated gesticulation to sit with your senior who typically prefers to be quiet?

#4. Interview potential caregivers –

Once you’ve narrowed down your options, you can request the home care agency to arrange interviews with potential caregivers.

And when interviewing, you can ask about the caregiver’s experience, qualifications, and approach to caregiving. Assess their compatibility with the person receiving care.

#5. Check references –

Find out if you can get a work reference or two from the caregivers you’re considering. You can contact these references to gain some insights into the caregiver’s performance, reliability, and professionalism.

#6. Conduct background checks –

A home care agency in California is required to have the appropriate state license. And with this license comes the responsibility to conduct background checks on the caregivers and hire only those who are registered with the Department of Social Services.

If you’re in another state, you can start your search by checking your state’s Office on Aging or a governmental agency similar to it with the function of advocating for the care and safety of seniors.

#7. Ask for a trial period –

Consider implementing a trial period.

This means the caregiver will work with the person needing care on a temporary basis.

This way, you can assess their compatibility, their communication skills, and their effectiveness in meeting the care recipient’s needs.

#8. Discuss terms of the home care service agreement –

The service agreement includes shift scheduling and payment arrangements. You will need to make sure that expectations are clearly defined in the Agreement.

#9. Monitor and evaluate –

Regularly monitor the caregiver’s performance and communicate openly about any concerns or adjustments you think are needed.

Are they effective in providing the desired level of care to your loved one?

#10. Maintain communication –

Establish a line of communication with the caregiver and the agency to address any issues or changes in care requirements.

The best part of finding a dependable home care agency is when the agency itself implements the process of regularly updating you on your loved one’s care and condition.

Final thoughts:

Finding the right caregiver for in-home help may take time and you’ll need to be patient and thorough