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Useful Tips For Hiring a Private Caregiver
How to know if you need home care.
Below is a list of some of the indicators that may indicate the need for a caregiver.
– Things around the house are left untouched – dishes, cleaning and laundry.
-Seniors lose weight because they are not ready/able to cook for themselves.
-The elderly have balance impairments and are at risk of falling.
-The person has Alzheimer’s or Dementia and cannot be left alone.
-The elderly person has had a stroke and needs help with ADL.
-The elderly have Parkinson’s disease and cannot take care of themselves.
– Various medical conditions can make a person immobile for a long time.
– Weakness due to old age.
If you know you need a caregiver for yourself or a loved one, there are many options for home care. (More on this topic can be found by reading “Homecare 101- A Tutorial”.
If you have decided to hire a private home care provider, here are some tips to help you in your search.
Do your research.
Do your research and find out the typical rates for freelancers in your area. It’s a simple process but requires many phone calls. A good place to start your renter search is online at craigslist.org. Other sources of information include local church bulletins or the classifieds section of neighborhood newspapers. You can also ask people you know for referrals to caregivers. Create a list and call them to inquire about availability, rates and services. After you have inquired about the rates of 5-7 different providers, you will have a good idea of what the average rate is for your area.
Once you know exactly what the regional organizer rates are, you can begin the interview process. By now you’ve talked to several providers while researching pricing. Now you can set up a personal interview for the top 2-3 managers that you had a good conversation with over the phone. It is important to have a backup caregiver in case the caregiver you think is most qualified becomes unavailable for the position you are offering. Those who work in the homecare agency industry know that caregivers don’t always show up for interviews when scheduled. Always make sure that the person you hire is ready and available to work during the hours and days you need them.
During a caregiver interview, it’s important to ask open-ended questions like, “Tell me about your caregiving experience.” or “Tell me about the last three clients you served in their homes.” You can ask them if they have worked for a housekeeping agency before.
– A good indicator is usually when the organizer can point to two or three well-known and respected agencies they have worked with, as a good agency will generally have a detailed screening process that includes criminal background checks, background checks social security, and the evaluation of skills.
-You can ask if you have received training as a Nursing Assistant or Housekeeper
Health care assistant. Although it is not necessary to be a good carer, it shows an interest in the general work of caring for people.
– Ask for a sample of how they will keep records during work.
Experienced caregivers often keep a journal to keep track of things like: schedules, meal plans, house cleaning, going out, shopping and supplies, medications, changes in the client’s condition, visitors, phone calls, etc.
– Ask for references from past clients and the client’s family. Be wary of caregivers who claim to have experience but cannot provide professional advice with contact information.
-Ask for 2 or 3 ways to contact the caregiver ie cell phone, cell phone, cell phone closest to the family. Ask about his home/family to know the person’s honesty. When you invite someone into your home to take care of yourself or your parents, you shouldn’t be shy about finding out a lot about that person.
– Plan some situations that you think might happen in your own situation and ask how to deal with them. An example would be “If you came home and found my mother confused and upset, what would you do in that situation?” or “If my father fell in the bathroom, how would you handle this situation?”
These questions are designed to measure a person’s ability to make decisions and the appropriateness of actions in their circumstances.
-Ask the caregiver to provide you with 2 forms of photo identification, a social security card and proof of residency to verify that they live at the address they say. Proof of residence can be in the form of a bank statement with their address, or a bill with their name and address. These steps are necessary to document that you have done your due diligence in verifying the identity of the caregiver.
-Depending on the state you live in, you need to have the caregiver fill out the employee tax form to withhold payroll taxes and/or social security taxes. You will need to check with your local government agency to find out what your requirements are. This is an area that many people don’t like, which can make them a big liability to the IRS, EDD, and many other agencies. Tax reporting is one of the biggest hurdles for individuals when hiring a personal nanny.
– Make sure you have a written contract between you and the babysitter that explains the work to be done and the compensation for that work. (This article is written as a general guide and not intended as legal advice.) If you’re the type of person who does business on a handshake, you’re putting yourself at risk. Many sample contracts are available online or at your local library.
homework after the interview
After a few interviews, you’ve decided on your first choice for caregiver. Congratulations!
– Now you need to check the references provided by the organizer. This is an important step in evaluating caregivers. Keep asking the references until you are completely satisfied. This process may take a few days as the references you are looking for may not be able to talk to you right away. Be patient, you are about to arrive. Once you get positive feedback from your references, you are ready to begin.
– It’s a good idea to contact your current homeowner’s insurance carrier to see if your policy may cover accidents for home workers. Most homeowner’s insurance policies will have coverage for such events. If you don’t have it, you don’t need to call your agent and add it to your policy at a premium. Insurance is not an area that should be neglected in this situation.
-Now it is your turn to create a “care plan” to be followed by the Caregiver. This care plan can be a simple one-page document that outlines how the elderly should be cared for and specific instructions related to care. Some care plans created by Care Managers are very comprehensive, including detailed cooking instructions, physical exercises, memory exercises, etc. Do your best to be as detailed as possible when creating your care plan, the less room for interpretation the better.
Care and quality assurance begins.
Everything is in place and the organizer is ready to start. On the first day, it is good practice to have the caregivers present to take them through the responsibilities of the job. By being there, you can make sure that the things that are most important to you are done first and the organizer will have a better sense of your priorities when faced with many things to do.
After you are confident that the caregiver can handle the situation, you can leave them to their work. It is a good idea to note the condition of the house before hiring a caretaker. In general, you can expect to see an improvement in the cleanliness of the home when the caretaker organizes the responsibilities of the housekeeper. As your supervisor, you must constantly monitor the quality of their work. If something is not up to your standards, you must communicate it to the organizer as soon as possible. Don’t wait until you have a laundry list of things you’re not happy with before approaching the caregiver with your concerns. Too much criticism, at one time, can damage the relationship with the caregiver. Be sure to tell them what they are doing right as well as what needs improvement. Positive feedback is more effective than negative feedback.
Providing a good environment.
It is important to remember that employers have certain criteria to judge whether they want to continue working for you in the future. Providing a safe and pleasant work environment is your responsibility as an employer. If you want to save yourself the time and effort of finding a new carer every few weeks/months, it would be wise to look at the job from the carer’s point of view.
One factor that causes caregiver turnover is conflicting schedules and/or duties. Caregivers rely on their hours of work for their income. If you have a tendency to cancel scheduled shifts, it creates stress and ill will in the caregiver relationship. You won’t always know when an organizer is unhappy with their schedule change until it’s too late. Another aspect of high turnover is that organizers are expected to complete multiple tasks within an unreasonable time frame. People who push their caregivers hard, end up pushing them out of work.
Avoid adding items to the service area that have nothing to do with “clear” senior or general home care. For example, you should not ask the caretaker to work in the garden, or to paint the walls, etc. In general, the carers are there to support the daily activities of the elderly, and 20% of the time is dedicated to the house.
Paying the caregiver on time, every week, is good practice. Disagreement or late payment of services is a major challenge for caregivers’ morale. Poor monitoring of working hours is also absent. If you ask the organizer to stay beyond the initial agreed schedule, you need to make sure that the extra time is compensated. A small graded bonus for a job well done goes a long way.
Ultimately you need to ask yourself “Why would a caregiver choose to work for you over someone else at the same rate?” If you can’t come up with a few really good reasons, you need to come up with some. For many managers, salary alone is not the deciding factor in whether they will be under your staff for the long term.
I hope this helps in your search for a freelancer.
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