What to Look for When Hiring a Senior Home Care Provider or Caregiver

elder care guide

What to Know About Hiring a Senior Home Care Provider or Caregiver

When hiring a senior home care provider or caregiver for a parent or loved one, it’s important to know what to look for. If you’re just beginning your search, you may have questions like:

  • Which qualities are most important for a senior caregiver to have?
  • How can you tell if a home care provider will be a good match for your loved one?

We know how important it is to make the right choice when selecting a new senior caregiver or home care provider, so we’ve put together this list that highlights the top skills and characteristics to keep an eye out for.

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Are you looking for a senior home care provider, or a caregiver?

Before you begin your search for home health care, determine whether you are looking for a senior home care provider or a caregiver. You may be wondering, “What’s the difference?”

  • The term “home care provider” refers to an agency which provides caregiving services.
  • A “caregiver” refers to the individual providing services.

You may decide to hire an agency, or you may opt to hire a caregiver directly. Not sure which choice is right for you? Don’t worry; we’ll cover that in an upcoming blog post, so stay tuned!

You will need to look for some different qualities depending on whether you opt for a home care provider or caregiver. We’ve created a list for each circumstance.

7 qualities to look for in a senior home care provider

There are many home health care agencies to choose from, but not all agencies are the same. They’re also not all suitable for your loved one. Look for the following qualities when evaluating a home care provider.

1. Systematic and trustworthy employee screening process

The agency should have a process for screening its employees. It should perform background checks and should require that all of its caregivers hold certifications.

2. Adequate liability insurance

Make sure that the agency is fully insured and bonded, and that it holds liability insurance. You should also see if the agency provides worker’s compensation.

3. Ongoing in-house training

A quality home care provider should provide plenty of in-house training. It is important that caregivers continuously build their skills and stay abreast of medical advancements. In-house training helps to ensure that caregivers are prepared to perform their jobs.

4. Responsive and reliable communication

As you contact various agencies, you’ll learn that some are better at communicating than others. You will want to choose an agency with quick and straightforward communication habits. Knowing that an agency will respond to your questions is a good sign that they will also be responsive if changes occur in your loved one’s care needs.

5. Personalized care plans

A quality agency will design a care plan for each of its clients. Your parent or loved one will be evaluated and a care plan will be created to identify their needs, how caregiving can help them, and how the caregiving should be scheduled.

6. Ongoing care plan evaluations

Even once the care plan is implemented, an agency should have a method of evaluating that plan and adjusting it in the future. As your parent or loved one’s needs change, the care plan will also need to be adjusted.

7. Active management of employees

Any home care provider you consider should actively manage the caregivers it employs. The agency should have a way to monitor their caregivers and make sure that they arrive on time for their shifts. A good home care provider will be your support if you need it; they’re there to make sure that your loved one receives the care that they need, when they need it.

As you speak with home health care providers, don’t be afraid to ask plenty of questions. A good agency will be able to answer your questions, discuss potential options for your loved one, and help you through the process of implementing home care services.

6 qualities to look for in a caregiver

It’s so important that the caregiver you choose is a good fit for your loved one. Look for these qualities in any caregiver you consider.

1. Full coverage insurance

Make sure that any caregiver you consider is fully insured. Never consider a caregiver who is not fully insured.

2. A list of high-quality references

Ask each caregiver for references, and be sure to follow up with each reference. Call the references and ask them about their experiences with the caregiver.

In addition to checking references, you should perform a background check before bringing any caregiver into your parent’s home.

3. Actively pursues continuing education

If a caregiver is not working with an agency, then he or she will be responsible for their own continuing education opportunities. Look for a caregiver who seeks out trainings and other opportunities to further their education.

4. Previous experience with your loved one’s health conditions

You will want to find a caregiver who is experienced with providing care for any conditions your parent has. Alzheimer’s care is very different from rehabilitative care, so look for a caregiver who can accommodate your parent’s specific needs.

5. Ability to relate with your loved one on a more personal level

Your parent or loved one will appreciate having a caregiver whom they can relate to. At Cahoon Care, we find that many of our clients enjoy caregivers with similar interests and life experiences.

6. A record of reliability

Reliability is essential in a good caregiver. Your parent will depend on the caregiver being on time and arriving on the days when he or she is scheduled. An unreliable caregiver will leave you scrambling for coverage, and you should not tolerate unreliability in any caregiver.

Your next steps in implementing home health care

Whether you’re looking for a home care provider or a caregiver for your loved one, you will face many choices in finding the right solution.

We encourage you to contact Cahoon Care; we would be happy to talk about your loved one’s needs and how we are able to help.

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