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As your parent ages, you may notice them struggle with basic tasks or activities they once performed effortlessly. When you can’t provide care for some reason, a qualified caregiver can help support their independence and dignity, giving you peace of mind and allowing your parent to age in place in their home. Here are a few tips to consider as you explore your options to find the right professional to provide eldercare at home.

Does Your Loved One Need Eldercare At Home?

If you are looking for eldercare at home, whether for yourself or a loved one, you are not alone – more than 58% of elderly adults need some form of care.

Finding the perfect caregiver isn’t an easy task. After all, you’re doing more than choosing someone you believe will be a good fit for the job. You also want someone that will be a good match for you and your loved one. Additionally, you want a candidate with the right skills and qualifications and the ability to fulfill multiple roles. For many families, the ideal caregiver is also a:

But, most importantly, you want someone you trust to care for your family member. Knowing this, what should you consider when looking for someone who can provide eldercare at home? Searching for the right candidate can seem daunting, but there are a few things you can do to make the process easier on yourself.

11 Factors To Consider For Eldercare At Home

1. Understand What You Want In A Caregiver

What do you exactly want the caregiver to do? First, list all the duties and responsibilities and make sure they are clear to yourself and potential candidates. Then, answer any questions the candidate has and alleviate whatever concerns they may have.

2. Think About Specific Qualifications

Does your loved one need someone who has experience with special care such as Dementia, Alzheimer’s, or transfers? Would you prefer someone who has worked previously as a family caregiver?

Middle Aged Businesswoman writing interview questions for eldercare at home.

3. Identify Which Qualities You Want In A Candidate

It’s important to take the potential caregiver’s personality into account. For example, would you or your senior parents feel more comfortable with someone extroverted, talkative, opinionated, and has a strong sense of humor? Or perhaps someone more introverted, quiet, patient, or easy-going would be a better fit.

4. Determine If The Position Is Part-Time Or Full-Time

Be clear on the days and hours that you want the private home health aid to work. Caregivers may have other obligations or rely on the work you offer for their income, and as a result, they may need to count on a consistent schedule.

If you need flexibility, make sure that it is clear upfront.

5. Decide Pay Rate

Two factors affect private caregivers’ rates: federal law and local market rates.

The government classifies private caregivers as household employees, which means they are “non-exempt” workers under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). FLSA determines labor rules such as minimum wage and compensation for overtime. These laws protect family caregivers and independent professionals, so you must understand the regulations before hiring a caregiver.

Geographical factors such as the cost of living also affect candidates’ rates. According to Indeed.com, the average base salary for caregivers is $14.33. However, if you want to hire somebody with more experience or specialties, you will likely pay $20 per hour or more.

6. Learn The Best Places To Find Candidates

After you identify your loved one’s needs and the type of caregiver you will need, the next step is knowing where to look for the right professional to meet these needs.

Websites may be your first choice to find candidates, but you could also reach out to family, friends, the Better Business Bureau, or even religious organizations for recommendations. If the employment aspect of hiring a caregiver for eldercare at home intimidates you, you may consider hiring through an agency. This option offers several benefits, namely that they usually:

Lastly, contact local resources such as your Area Agency On Aging and similar social services.  They may even be able to help you find government-subsidized care programs and services for your loved one.

7. Interview Multiple Candidates

You may think you have found the perfect candidate. However, it is always good to interview other people to be sure. Interviewing multiple candidates is an excellent way to find a backup aid in case of an emergency.

When you hire a caregiver with MeetCaregivers, we will help you find several possible matches for your loved one.

8. Consider Your Preferred Communication Methods

Eldercare has numerous expectations and responsibilities, so you should make your expectations apparent, including those regarding communication

Of course, you want your parents’ caregiver to feel comfortable talking to you. You can do this by being open and honest about your expectations for your loved one’s care. Next, express concerns about your parents’ condition or behavior, so their caregiver better understands their needs. Then, offer several methods of communication so the caregiver can quickly contact you.

The more you and your loved one’s caregiver understand each other’s expectations and needs, the easier it will be to provide the best care for your parents. This is also an excellent way to develop trust between yourself and the person you decide to hire.

9. Provide Important Information To Caregivers

Tell them if your loved one likes or dislikes something, as well as her clothing or eating habits. Also, be sure to disclose any allergies to food or medication. Make a list for your in-home caregiver. In addition to a list of all emergency contacts, it should include current medications and the dates, times, and locations of any scheduled activities or appointments.

10. Find A Backup Caregiver

What happens if your in-home caregiver is sick or can’t come to work?

Be sure your caregiver knows your preferred method of reaching you to notify you of their absence. Develop a backup plan for when the occasion arises so you will be sure someone is there to care for your parents.

11. Plan For Continued Employer Obligations

Once you find the perfect caregiver to assist your loved one with eldercare at home, you will need to train them on the specific activities required for the job. For example, if your loved one needs help with meal preparation, you should inform the caregiver of the various meal options they should make. A care recipient who struggles with swallowing problems will have very different meals than someone with diabetes. In addition, if you expect the caregiver to help with light housework, you should teach them what tasks they should complete and where your loved one keeps their cleaning supplies.

Management is another aspect of employing a private caregiver. You will want to make sure the caregiver comes to their shifts on time, does what they are required to do (and does them well), and more. Lastly, while no one expects an issue between you, the caregiver, or your loved one to occur, it’s best to have a plan to address possible concerns that may arise. 

MeetCaregivers Can Help

For more information, call us at 1-888-541-1136 or email info@meetcaregivers.com. If you’re looking for more resources about caregiving, our blog has plenty of information and resource to help inform you throughout the planning and decision process.