Are you looking for a caregiver? Whether you need minimal support or you need someone full-time, it can seem daunting to find the right person. It’s time-consuing to search for and interview private caregivers before you hire them. When you rely on the state, you don’t always have a say in who you get since availability is often limited.
Regardless, there are ways to find the right caregiver, and the following tips will help you find someone who can best meet your needs.
1. Hire a friend or family member
The first and most obvious choice for a caregiver will be your friends and family. Chances are, you already have some help, but if you’re looking for more caregiving services, it’s probably not enough. However, there are ways to get friends and family to help more often.
One way is to hire them through the state. For example, in Missouri, FreedomCare helps eligible Medicaid recipients get in-home care from their loved ones while paying them for their work, just like any other caregiver.
When your friends and family want to help but can’t afford to take time off work, getting paid to care for you could make it work. Most states have this type of program and if you’re not sure where to start, contact your local Agency on Aging to get more information.
Of course, if you have the funds to pay people out of pocket, that will help you get a caregiver(s) you really connect with, whether it’s a friend, family member, or private caregiver.
2. Test abilities during the interview
If you need help being transferred from one place to another, like from the bed to the toilet or shower, make sure you test every caregiver you consider for the job. Although transfers are part of every caregiver’s training, not everyone can do it well. It’s not always about strength, but strength and size do help when you need a higher level of assistance. For instance, if you can’t stand on your own at all, you might need a stronger, bigger caregiver.
When you interview caregivers, have a friend or family member with you and ask the caregiver if they feel comfortable assisting you with the transfers you need. Have them demonstrate their ability on the spot. If they struggle or are too timid, move on to the next option.
3. Look for good communication skills
A caregiver’s ability to communicate is measured solely by how well their communications are received. Caregivers need to be able to communicate in a way that is easily understood. If you struggle to understand your caregiver’s instructions or basic communications, you’ll only end up frustrated.
When you interview potential caregivers, pay close attention to how easily the conversation flows and if things feel easy and light, they might be a good match for you. If you feel resistance or you struggle to understand them, move to the next candidate.
4. Make sure you interview qualified people
Caregiving needs vary and it’s important to make sure you interview the right people. For instance, if you need someone to administer medication (other than arranging your prescription pills), you’ll need someone with a medical license, like a Registered Nurse (RN). Standard caregivers and even CNAs won’t be able to provide services like setting up medical equipment, changing dressings, and monitoring infections.
If you need medical assistance, make sure you interview RNs and always verify their credentials. If you hire them through a reputable organization, you won’t have to worry about that because the organization will have already verified their credentials before referring them to you.
5. Find someone you can chat with
Caregiving does get quite personal at times, so it’s important to find someone you can chat with. If you can find someone you can laugh with, that’s even better. When you feel connected to the person caring for you, you’ll have an easier time letting them help you with bathing and going to the toilet. You’ll also feel better because you’ll have a good time with them. You might even find someone who shares your hobbies and interests.
Choose your caregiver(s) with intention
You’ll be relying on your caregiver for a lot of support, so make sure you choose them with intention. Don’t just hire the first person you find, unless you’re desperate for help and plan on replacing them if they don’t work out. However, if possible, hire the right people from the start and don’t hire anyone you feel uncomfortable around.