It’s official: You’ve decided to hire an in-home caregiver for yourself or a loved one. That is a great weight off your mind, and you’re looking forward to getting the extra support you need.
Still, the practicalities seem daunting. How do you find the right person — or team of people — to meet your requirements?
Here’s our three-step plan on how to choose an in-home caregiver.
● Step 1: Work out when you need your caregiver to start
Some needs can’t wait, so deciding when to hire an in-home caregiver for an elderly loved one often comes first. For example, if a previously mobile senior suffers an injury, or is discharged from the hospital to recuperate after surgery, they may suddenly go from needing no care at all to requiring round-the-clock supervision.
If you must have help right away, we recommend you go through an agency. Hiring the right private caregiver takes time and cutting any corners could put you or your loved one at risk. Care Advantage promises to provide you with the help you need within 24 hours of your request.
● Step 2: Define what you’re looking for
Try to imagine what the perfect care plan for you or your loved one would look like. Do you want someone for companionship and grocery runs, or for 24/7assistance from a nursing provider — for instance, someone who can administer IV drugs and change dressings?
Next, to hire a private caregiver, turn this wish list into a job description, then advertise for candidates. However conscientiously you do this, there’s always a chance you’ll overlook something — like forgetting to mention your loved one’s menagerie and that caregivers with pet allergies need not apply.
An agency like Care Advantage can take this responsibility off your hands. By collecting detailed information on your health status, habits and preferences, we can roll out individualized care plans. And if your needs evolve, so does our plan.
● Step 3: Choose between an independent caregiver and an agency
Hiring an independent in-home caregiver is a good option for many seniors and can offer excellent value for money. Before taking the plunge, however, consider that you will be responsible for the following:
○ Drafting and advertising a job posting
○ Researching hourly rates in your region and deciding whether to pay more for extra experience or skills
○ Writing a contract, interviewing candidates and organizing background checks
○ Paying applicable employment taxes and generally staying on the right side of the IRS and state regulators
○ Finding last-minute cover for caregivers who call in sick
If you go through an agency, you will pay somewhat more but do far, far less — including none of the above. Care Advantage, for example, has prescreened attendants covering a vast range of skills and experience — and we handle all the paperwork. We’re so confident that we offer both excellence and value for money that we promise to refund your first 24hours of fees if you’re not satisfied with our services.
One final thought: If you hire in haste, don’t think you have to repent at leisure. If things aren’t working out with your current caregiving team, there’s still time to change course. Contact us today for an informal chat on how we might help.