Questions to Ask Before Hiring an Independent Caregiver

hiring an independent caregiver
Learn the differences between hiring an independent caregiver and partnering with a professional home care agency.

As people age, the ability to live at home safely can become a concern. Age-related illnesses and conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, or arthritis can increase the risk of falls and pose other risks. Additionally, loneliness and isolation are common for many older adults, which can lead to depression. The good news is that partnering with a professional caregiver can ensure loved ones remain safely and happily at home while receiving the care and attention they need.

Questions to Ask When Hiring an Independent Caregiver

When hiring an independent caregiver, it’s important to make certain that the person is not only experienced and knowledgeable, but also kind, compassionate, and a good fit for a loved one’s personality. To help find and hire the right person, make sure to ask the following questions:

  • What is your experience in caring for older people?
  • What experience do you have with my loved one’s specific condition(s) (Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, diabetes, etc.)?
  • Do you have experience with the type of care my loved one needs (bathing, dressing, lifting/transferring, etc.)?
  • How do you develop a care plan?
  • Do you have any formal training as a caregiver?
  • Are you first-aid and CPR-certified?
  • Can you provide references from others for whom you have provided care?
  • Do you have a clean driving record and reliable transportation?
  • What days and times are you available to provide care?
  • What interests you in caring for seniors?
  • Tell me about your personality. Are you a social butterfly? Do you enjoy playing games, reading, watching TV, etc.?
  • If my loved one refuses to do what they need to do or gets rude or cranky, how would you handle the situation?
  • What happens if you get sick or cannot make it on a certain day?
  • Are you licensed and bonded?

The answers to these questions can help determine if the caregiver is right for a loved one.

Benefits of Working With a Licensed Home Care Agency

As professional senior care providers, we highly recommend working with a licensed and bonded home care agency when a loved one needs care at home. Partnering with an agency, versus hiring an independent caregiver, provides a number of protections for families and their loved ones.

  1. Caregivers are thoroughly vetted. At Nightingale Homecare, we take the safety of our clients very seriously. We thoroughly screen every caregiver we hire to ensure that they are not only knowledgeable and passionate about caring for others, but also that they have no issues that could endanger clients. We perform comprehensive background and driving record checks to make sure everyone we hire is safe and reliable.
  2. Agencies are bonded and insured. Our agency bonds and insures all caregivers on our staff. This means that if an accident or other issue occurs with a caregiver, your family is not liable for any damages or workers compensation.
  3. Our caregivers are highly trained. When working with an independent contractor, it is hard to know just how much training or experience they have with caregiving. At Nightingale Homecare, we ensure that all of our caregivers receive extensive, ongoing training to meet a variety of needs including, dementia care, chronic disease management, and general standards of care. Often, additional training is provided to meet the needs outlined in an individual plan for care.
  4. A stronger consistency of care. When an independent contractor is sick or otherwise unavailable, a loved one is likely to go without care that day. Working with an agency provides a stronger consistency of care. If a loved one’s regular caregiver is out sick, the agency can often make arrangements to ensure a back-up caregiver can fill in. This ensures that family members don’t have to scramble to find a solution and their loved one receives care without interruption.
  5. Continuity of care. When working with a professional home care agency that provides multiple levels of care, such as the nursing services provided by Nightingale Homecare, families can expect a seamless continuity of care. Often care recipients have a need for both non-medical home care and nursing services to work together at home. A care organization that is able to provide both types of care services can ensure the holistic approach and agility needed to cover a variety of care needs.

We also know how important it is that the bond between client and caregiver is strong. We carefully select the best caregiver for your loved one by looking closely at personality traits, likes, dislikes, and more to ensure that a trusting friendship can form.

If you would like to know more about hiring a caregiver or how to carefully select an in-home care provider, we would be happy to help. Give us a call at (602) 814-0726 or contact us online for more information about our award-winning in-home care services.