The number of seniors in need of in-home care is on the rise, and it doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. If you have an elderly parent or loved one who needs more help than you can give, you may need to look into hiring a home health aide to help relieve some of the burden.
Of course, hiring a home health aide is easier said than done. There are a lot of factors you need to take into account to make sure they are properly trained and will provide your loved one with everything they need.
Here’s what to look for when interviewing caregivers and home care agencies.
Choose the Right Home Care Service
When it comes to hiring a home health aide, be sure to look for the following characteristics. They’re all good indicators that you’re bringing on the right person to care for your loved one.
Experience is one of the most important characteristics to look for when choosing a home care service. This is especially true if your loved one has serious health problems like diabetes or dementia and needs extra care as a result.
Find someone who has experience caring for people with these conditions. Be sure to also think about other tasks you’ll need help with. For example, if your loved one will need help with meal preparation, find a home health aide who knows how to cook and is comfortable adjusting recipes to meet specific dietary needs.
2. Training and Education
It’s important to make sure your potential caregiver meets the minimum requirements put in place by the state. Find out what training or education they have and make sure they have updated licenses.
Ask about additional credentials or training that they’ve obtained on their own. It’s great to find someone who’s willing to go above and beyond to provide better home care to the people for whom they’re responsible.
3. Compassion and Empathy
Compassion, empathy, and attentiveness are all essential personality traits that a good caregiver must possess. To find out if your potential home health aide has these characteristics, ask them why they got into this profession.
Find out what interests they have, and see if they have anything in common with your loved one. Having shared interests can make their time together much more enjoyable, for both your loved one and the caregiver.
Of course, a good caregiver must be patient. Caring for an elderly individual, especially one who struggles with conditions like dementia or incontinence can be very taxing. One way to determine if a candidate is a patient person is to ask them how they handled difficult situations in the past.
Pay attention to what they say when they answer this question, but also take note of how they say it. Is there a certain level of warmth in their answer? Do they seem like they truly cared about the person they’re describing?
5. Good Communication Skills
Your home health aide must be a good communicator; pay attention to their tone in the interview, noticing their body language and subtle signs they may be uncomfortable with a particular aspect of the job.
If you’re impressed with a candidate’s communication skills but want to be absolutely sure they’re a good fit, you might want to consider having them talk to your loved one or help them with a basic task while you’re present. Make sure they have a tone and communication style that makes your loved one feel calm and comfortable.
6. Check Their References
Before you offer someone the job, be sure to check all of their references. Even if they seem like a great fit, having the right personality traits and necessary qualifications, it’s still worth it to ensure everything matches.
Call their references and find out how they performed in previous positions. It’s also a good idea to ask whether or not their former employer would hire them again and if they would recommend them for this new job.
Questions to Ask a Home Care Agency
A lot of the stress that comes with hiring a home health aide (determining pay rates, finding candidates, etc.) can be alleviated if you work with a home care agency to find the right person.
Home care agencies also have minimum qualifications for their caregivers. This can make it easier when choosing the right person to care for your loved one.
However, it’s still important to questions when you’re working with an agency to ensure their values align with yours. Some of the most important questions to ask include:
- What specific services do your home health aides offer?
- What eligibility requirements must a patient meet to qualify for your care services?
- What are your fees?
- How long has your agency been providing home care?
- Is your agency Medicare certified?
- Is your agency state licensed?
- Can your agency meet my specific needs (languages, cultural preferences, etc.)
- How do you train and select employees?
- Do you perform background checks before hiring your staff?
- Do you include clients and family members when developing a plan of care?
- Whom can I call if I have questions or complaints?
- How do you resolve problems?
- What is the availability of your caregivers?
Getting clear answers to these questions can help determine whether or not a particular care agency is right for you and your loved one.
Choose Assisting Hands Home Care
All of our home care professionals at Assisting Hands Home Care in Fort Myers, FL understand the responsibility and stress associated with finding the right caregiver for your loved one. After all, you do want them to feel safe and comfortable in their home.
Not only are our caregivers licensed, bonded, and insured with our home care agency for your protection, but we offer free consultations so you can meet with our professionals. You will see the professionalism and compassion involved in our agency while we discuss your loved one’s needs and how we can help.
Give us a call at (239) 221-6326 to schedule your free consultation today.