You and your family have decided that it’s time to hire a caregiver for your elderly father. The decision came after much discussion that included a few arguments and tensions from a couple of crises involving your father and a family member. At this point, it may feel like the hard part is over and that all you need to do now is call the woman who had been taking care of your neighbor, hire her and all will be well. And that is the first mistake you must avoid.
Here are 7 mistakes to avoid when hiring a caregiver:
How do you know the caregiver is actually able to care for your father? Not all caregivers are alike and selecting simply because you’re familiar with her face and vehicle isn’t a good reason.
- No background check. Whether done by you or an agency, a record of a current background check is necessary to avoid future legal issues that may arise.
- Not asking for verifiable certification or education records.Caregiver training is regulated by each state with some requiring training and others not requiring any training at all, so first check with your state’s Department of Health. Once you know the requirements of individuals and agencies, don’t hesitate to ask to see the certifications and proof of training.
- Not requesting someone with experience. Yes, it’s important that people new to care giving gain hands-on experience, but does it have to be with your elderly father? That is for you to decide, but if your father has chronic health conditions or the beginnings of a health condition you want to have an experienced caregiver to handle the issues that arise when his condition worsens.
- Basing the decision on finances only. Maybe you’re a bit panicky about the cost of in-home care. Explore all options before deciding that the financial piece is the deal breaker. The more you know about the costs and how they can be covered, the less panicky you will feel.
- Ignoring the option of an agency and hiring someone yourself. By ignoring the option of an agency you are making a lot of assumptions that will cost you in time,money, and energy. Unless you are experienced at hiring people and up to date and understand the laws of your state for being an employer, it’s a good idea to explore all options before making a decision.
- Staying out of the loop. You participated in the decision to hire a caregiver, don’t back out when it comes to deciding who to hire and how. When everyone in the family is up to speed on how things were decided, it greatly reduces future tensions.
- Not staying involved once a caregiver is selected.When you make the transition to using caregiver services, stay in contact with your father. The caregiver is there a small portion of the day and your father needs to know you are around. Also, if at any time your father feels that his needs aren’t being met you can be his voice and address the situation – or switch caregivers if you think it’s necessary.