There are some things to consider when evaluating using a senior caregiver for independent home care over the services of an agency. While independent caregivers can often be more affordable, and you are likely gaining access to the same caregivers that agencies are boasting, that is not always the case. It is important to ensure that you are inviting the right people into your home when you hire an independent caregiver.
Be a Social Sleuth
Before inviting a caregiver for an interview do some searching online. Google their name and see what comes up. If there is anything questionable that shows up within the first few pages be sure to ask them about it before meeting them in person. Some people use aliases online to hide from potential employers. Ask a caregiver to provide you a link to their social media pages so that you can verify that they are who they say they are in their picture.
Do your Research
While social media has certainly made finding someone’s identity easier, it is still best to rely on official legal documents. When interviewing a caregiver always ask them to bring proof of their social security number and legal identification. With this information you can run your potential caregiver’s criminal background report with their consent. You can find the appropriate criminal background portal for your state here. There are typically Additionally you should ensure that they are not on any databases for fraud or abuse. You can check their status in that database here. We recommend searching a sex offender database as well which you can find here. If your caregiver is clear of suspicious charges, that does not necessarily mean that they are guaranteed to be a perfect fit, but it certainly is a great place to start.
Request a Work History and References
A person’s reputation is everything, that is why it is so important to get a good professional understanding of the caregiver you are employing. Understand, the way you request information of a caregiver might change depending on their employment history.
If your caregiver has always been an independent caregiver you can obtain reference information from their past clients. Be sure to request 2 to 3 former clients to get a full understanding of their work style and ethic. Directly talking to the family members of the person who received care will give you a good idea of what to expect from this caregiver. Family members will likely be very candid with you about a caregiver’s performance.
Requesting information from agencies about a former employee is a little bit different because they are more tightly regulated than independent workers. Ask if there is someone on the staff who can directly speak about the caregiver you are interviewing. Inform that person that you are a family member of an aging person and looking to hire them as an independent contractor. If the agency knows that you are a single family looking for a caregiver as opposed to a competing agency they might be more willing to offer insight. Additionally, ask if they caregiver is still employed. If they are, be sure to ask the caregiver during the interview how they intend to balance both work schedules. If they are no longer employed, ask what the reason was for the caregiver to leave. This should give you valuable insight into your potential caregiver’s professionalism.
Observe Them at Work
It can be unsettling to leave your aging loved one with a new caregiver for the first time. If you are able, supervise your caregiver’s first few sessions. This will give you time to answer any questions. When it inevitably come time that you cannot supervise a visit, consider installing a security camera in the home. It is legal to install a nanny cam in all 50 states, even if you record without consent. Be aware, you can’t tape someone in private areas of your home. This includes the bathroom and bedrooms. So be sure to install a camera in areas of your loved one’s home like the kitchen or living room. Review the footage as frequently as daily at first, and once your caregiver earns your trust you can review them less often.
Know the Warning Signs
If your loved one is being abused or neglected by your independent caregiver there will likely be warning signs. Be on the lookout for suspicious bruising, missing items, or a change in behavior in your loved one. Ask your aging loved one how they feel about the caregiver. Their insight will be key to determining whether you can trust a senior caregiver. If you suspect any abuse has happened, be sure to act immediately and confront the caregiver in question.
Do you feel ready to start independent home care?
Caregogi offers you access to hundreds of caregivers in your area. If you feel ready to connect with an independent caregiver, we make it simple. Simply sign up, message your preferred caregiver, and begin care!
[maxbutton id=”1″ url=”https://www.caregogi.com/register/patient” text=”Sign Up Now!” ]