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How to Choose a Caregiver for Your Loved One

How to Choose a Caregiver for Your Loved One

April 21, 2015

According to a report released by the Congressional Budget Office, “more than two-thirds of 65-year-olds will need assistance to deal with a loss in functioning at some point during their remaining years of life.” If you have a loved one with limitations, of course you want to provide him or her with the best care possible. Usually, the best way to do this is to hire an in-home caregiver, who can tend to your loved one’s needs on a daily basis.

Unfortunately, selecting a caregiver is never easy – but there are a few steps you can follow to ultimately make the right decision.

Assess His or Her Needs

The best way to get started is to make a thorough assessment of your elder’s needs. If your loved one has been diagnosed with a special medical condition, then you’ll need to find a caregiver who has specific experience working with patients who have these limitations. Some conditions that may require special care include:

  • Alzheimer’s
  • dementia
  • osteoporosis

Furthermore, consider what your loved one is and isn’t capable of. Does he or she need help getting dressed? Taking medications? Preparing meals? Make a list of all the duties the ideal caregiver would need to help your loved one with. This way, you can immediately eliminate any caregiver options that don’t provide all the services you need.

Ask for Help or Recommendations

If you know friends or family members who have recently hired caregivers, don’t hesitate to ask for some recommendations. This can at least give you a starting point. Some people hire family members, church friends, or other un-licensed caregivers, however, so be sure to clarify ahead of time that you’re only interested in hiring a professional, licensed, and insured caregiver for your loved one.

Make sure all prospective caregivers meet this criteria by asking for proof of insurance (and licensure, if your state issues licenses for caregiving).

Interview and Go With Your Gut

Never hire a caregiver without first conducting a thorough interview. This will help you get an idea of the person’s character and personality, which are both important factors when deciding on a caregiver for your loved one.

Don’t hesitate to ask your prospective caregiver for a list of references, and to follow-up with those references. Any reputable caregiver should have a list readily available for you. Furthermore, if you’re not hiring from an agency that does its own criminal background checks, be sure to ask permission to run one on a caregiver before you decide to hire him or her.

At the end of the day, you only want what’s best for your loved one. By following these guidelines, you’ll be well on your way to selecting a compassionate, qualified caregiver in no time.

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