Hiring a caregiver for a senior with a debilitating condition is an important part of a care solution for someone in need. However, finding the perfect person - one who will provide professional, compassionate care for your senior in need - can be a difficult and intimidating process for a variety of reasons. However, by following a few basic processes and taking advantage of the resources within your community, you can find someone who will provide the care that you expect and that the senior needs to stay healthy and comfortable.
There are two basic routes that most families pursue to find a caregiver for a senior. You can either enlist the help of a professional in-home placement agency, or privately hire a caregiver directly. Let's take a look at both options and see what sort of advantages and disadvantages the two choices offer.
Hiring a Caregiver Directly
If you opt to find your caregiver yourself, you will find that you have a great degree of control over who will ultimately be providing for the senior in need. You will have the opportunity to survey a wide range of candidates, and meet with them individually so you can get the best feel for who will be able to most effectively manage the senior's situation. Due to the fact that circumstances that require the aid of a professional caregiver are almost always very personal in nature, it can be helpful to begin the relationship at a one-on-one level so you can find the best person for the job.
Hiring directly gives you the most control over finding the person who will provide care for your senior in need. However, it also means that you must put in the necessary work to vet and investigate candidates for the position. There are numerous resources at your disposal to find caregivers, starting with your family, friends and colleagues and also including Internet services such as Craigslist or sites like Care.com. Once you have found a candidate through these sources, you must continue to investigate them.
Get to Know the Person who Will Provide Care For Your Senior in Need
You need to take the time to interview the candidates you find independently to make sure that they will have the attitude and personality that will make them a good fit as a caregiver. If your interview goes well, then you need to follow up by calling all the references they can provide to make sure that they can live up the experience they have described to you. Running a complete background check is another vital step in hiring a caregiver, so you can put your trust in the person who will be providing care for your senior in need.
Another thing to consider when hiring directly is that you will need to have a backup plan if your caregiver isn't able to provide the services you need. This situation can occur for a variety of reasons, but if the senior you are hiring care for needs daily attention, then you need to have someone available who can help out in case of an emergency. Keeping a couple of resumes handy can help you make sure that your senior in need will always have care available for them.
Hiring a Caregiver through an In-Home Placement Agency
Another great way to find a professional caregiver for a senior in need is to enlist the help of an in-home senior care placement agency. An in-home senior care placement agency will have a roster of screened caregivers who are ready to provide help for your senior at a moment's notice. Also, most in-home placement agencies require their caregivers to undertake training, so you can be confident that the caregiver you hire will be capable of dealing with whatever situations arise.
Another great advantage of using an in-home senior care placement agency is that they will handle taking care of any and all paperwork. Any payroll issues, tax matters and any legal situations that arise will all be the responsibility of the agency, so all you have to do is cut the agency a check and forget about it.
One of the most important things an agency can provide if you decide to use them to find a caregiver is a larger support network of caregivers. This means that if any personal emergency or conflict occurs with the caregiver you hire, you don't need to worry about finding a back-up. The agency will have a wide roster of professional caregivers who will be happy to fill in on no notice for however long they might need to. Knowing that your senior in need will receive the care he or she needs no matter what is a great stress reliever, and one of the biggest advantages an agency can provide over hiring directly.
Be Aware of the Information You Will and Will Not Have When Using a Placement Agency
However, there are a couple issues to keep in mind when hiring a caregiver from an in-home senior care placement agency. Since the agency will be in charge of paying and keeping records on their caregivers, you won't really know what they are earning or have access to a full picture of your caregiver's background if they do not choose to provide it. This situation can make your relationship with your caregiver a little impersonal, which can make some people uneasy.
Another thing to think about when considering hiring a caregiver through an agency is the cost. An agency will charge a premium price for their services, and you may be able to acquire equally qualified help for a lower price if you hire directly.
Lastly, enlisting the aid of an agency doesn't mean that you can simply walk away from the situation. You still need to be active and involved in the care that is being provided. Not monitoring a caregiver's work can lead to misunderstandings and worsening conditions for your senior in need.
Opening your home or a family member's home to a caregiver is a big step that should not be taken lightly. However, by paying attention and carefully evaluating your potential caregivers, you are sure to find someone who can provide the attention your senior needs.