5 Qualities That Make An Excellent In Home Caregiver

After over a decade of experience hiring senior caregivers, we at Caregogi know what makes an excellent in home caregiver. In fact, we’ve broken what makes a caregiver great into 5 easy to follow steps. We’ve even provided you little hints on how to sniff out great caregivers during their initial interview. Excellent caregivers take many forms. They best fit for you might end up surprising you!


An excellent caregiver is: Always Reliable

Planning care for an aging parent can be stressful. The last thing you want to worry about is whether your caregiver will show up. When you set a schedule with a caregiver they should understand your expectations and adhere to them. Period. This includes not only attending shifts, but punctuality as well. If a caregiver is consistently late or leaving early, they do not have your loved one’s best interest at heart.

How to test this in an interview:

When you are initially interviewing a caregiver, make sure that you set a specific interview time. Pay close attention to the time that they arrive. Were they 15 minutes early, on time, or late? Their behavior in an interview will likely directly reflect their future job performance.


An excellent caregiver is: A Good Communicator

A large part of the profession of caregiving is the ability to adaptively communicate with different families. If your family keeps a care journal, your caregiver should be comfortable writing entries in that. Conversely, if you and your family care team all communicate over a text message group chat, make sure that your caregiver is comfortable being a part of that.

How to test this in an interview:

During the interview ask your potential caregiver how they have communicated status changes with past clients. The should be able to directly tell you a specific and detailed method of communication that they used. If they can articulate that successfully, ask them if they would be comfortable communicating in your preferred way.


An excellent caregiver is: Compassionate and Understanding

Beyond formal communication, a caregiver should have an extremely high emotional intelligence. Often seniors who need care are facing extreme anxiety and even embarrassment about their situation. Having a person who can exude empathy regarding these situations is important. But compassion is not just for the sake of your parent, but for you as well. Caring for an aging loved one can be incredibly stressful. It is important that you have someone to be an emotional support to you during this difficult time.

How to test this in an interview:

People who are emotionally intelligent are interested in the needs of other people. Pay close attention to how they talk during the interview. Do they only talk about themselves or do they ask questions about how you and your family are doing? This can be a huge indicator of their capacity for compassion.


An excellent caregiver is: Skilled and Experienced

Quality caregivers should have experience in what you are personally looking for. For example, if your loved one has dementia you should seek out a caregiver with dementia care experience. The typical rule of thumb that agencies employ is a minimum of two years of experience in the caregiving field If someone you hire is unable to attend to your loved one’s specific needs due to a lack of training, you should find another caregiver.

How to test this in an interview:

Before your in home caregiver even gets to the interview you should vet them out for their experience. Ask them if they have worked with a patient who shares your loved one’s diagnosis. Have them explain the nature of their previous experience. Have the ever worked in a home environment or were they always supervised. Do they have any credentials or training?

Here are some things you may see on a caregiver’s resume:

C.N.A. License:

This is a certified nursing assistant. They have proven both through practice and in a classroom setting that they can adequately perform activities of daily living and work directly with patients. They are required to completed 75 hours of training before taking their certification test. C.N.A.s can perform all activities of daily living but are not allowed to administer medications. You can check the validity of their license here.

C.M.A. License:

This is a certified medical assistant. They have had to complete a one-year certification degree or a two-year associate degree to obtain this license. The work a C.M.A. does is much less direct than what a C.N.A. performs. They often review charts and obtain information from patients before a doctor will see them. You can check the validity of this license here.

C.P.R. & First Aid License:

This license can be obtained in a single class session and teaches basic first aid as well as resuscitation procedures. This license must be renewed every two years.

When you feel the caregiver is the right fit, put them to the test. If you require the use of a specific durable medical device, have the caregiver demonstrate their competency when they interview. This will ensure that the caregiver you hire will have the experience you need.


An excellent caregiver is: Compatible with You

A caregiver can mark all the correct boxes and say all the right things in an interview and still not be right for you. The care needs of each individual family can vary wildly. However, If your loved one does not feel comfortable with the caregiver you have chosen, they will not be able to enjoy the full benefits of an in home caregiver. Know what you are looking for when you start to call potential caregivers. If your mother wants someone who is talkative, make sure that you are bringing in candidates who can hold a conversation on the phone!

How to test this in an interview:

The best way to test this is to have your potential caregivers meet your loved one. Have your potential caregivers spend at least 15 minutes with the person they will be caring for. If your loved one does not like the people you are bringing to them, they will likely not hold that opinion back.


We hope you find your perfect in home caregiver.

We hope that you can find the best in home caregiver for your loved one’s needs. If you need help finding caregivers in your area, we have you covered. Caregogi has hundreds of caregivers ready to come and care for your loved one, and we’ve done most of the hard work for you! When you use Caregogi you can easily compare caregivers based on experience, pay rate, and many other factors.

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