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When a parent, spouse or child needs a caretaker, the task of finding one can seem daunting. Not only are you experiencing difficult feelings about your loved ones aging, you may also be acting as an employer for the first time. How can you build a respectful employer-employee relationship? How do you find someone you can trust, and who will treat your loved one with respect and dignity?
The guidelines below will help you think through your needs.
What to Consider When Looking For a Caregiver:
Does your caregiver have experience in the industry? For how many years? Does he or she have experience with the specific illness your loved one is suffering from?
How easily can you communicate with the caregiver? Do they adequately speak the same language that you and your loved one speak? Do you understand what they’re saying over the phone? Are they willing to call or text you with updates?
Do you feel comfortable having this person in your loved one’s home all day? Do you feel comfortable having them at family events? Do they seem relaxed and attentive with your loved one? Does your loved one seem relaxed with them?
Does the person call when they say they will and show up for your interviews on time? Did they provide requested paperwork and references in a timely fashion?
Ask for references, and call them. If you have found your caregiver through an agency, be sure they are bonded and insured. Ask what the procedure is if you believe the caregiver has stolen something from your home. Consider paying for a background check.
Does the person have a car or a drivers license? Are they familiar with local transportation options? Will they be able to transport your loved one if necessary?
Will your caretaker be making a living wage? If you are paying through an agency, ask how much the caregiver will receive per hour, and discuss expectations for sick leave and time off.
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