As seniors age, it becomes crucial to make sure their needs are met in terms of medical requirements, comfort, and sometimes just engaging in basic hygiene and daily tasks. For many, the answer does not lie in placing a loved one in a care facility. Many seniors want to stay in their home and live independently as long as possible.
The problem, then, becomes finding the right help to make sure they’re taken care of at home, and this can be a scary prospect. Here are some tips and pieces of advice for finding a good in-home caretaker in Ohio, and how you can avoid critical mistakes in the process.
Finding a Good in-Home Caretaker: Candidate Search
The first step is to find potential candidates. There are many resources out there to help with this. The AARP website has tons of great resources in this area that can get you a good start. You could just put an ad in the local paper, but you may be overwhelmed with applicants if you do so.
In addition, talk to those around you. Ask friends, co-workers, neighbors or other people who use caregivers for recommendations. Check bulletin boards, both on the ground and online. Check into local University social work programs with job placement services.
Preparing for the Candidate
Naturally, since you’re trusting a stranger with your loved one’s best interests, you want to thoroughly vet them before bringing them in. It’s important to have a detailed and specific job description. Your new caretaker needs to know exactly what their responsibilities will be, and when. They also have a right to know how much you can pay.
Start with a phone screening. Ask basic questions about experience, availability, driving record and any special skills or training they might have. This will help you narrow down your list.
The Interview Process
When you’ve got your list narrowed down to three or four solid candidates, schedule face-to-face interviews. Ask them to provide job history and resume information. Make sure you ask for at minimum two to three professional references. Make sure that if they are able, your senior loved one is part of the interview to gauge the rapport between the candidate and the person for whom they’ll be caring.
Get full information—name, address, phone number, SSN, driver’s license and photo ID. It would not hurt for you to run a background check or to ask for clearances. Do some research into how to conduct an interview—you may find questions you hadn’t considered.
No matter how good the candidate seems, check their references. There are people who are great in interviews but not so good in practice. Never feel guilty about checking into someone’s past, or about checking up on them after they start work. The well-being of your loved one is at stake, after all.
If you do run into issues with a caregiver, talking to an elder law attorney can be of help. For many years, the attorneys at Stano Law have helped people in Ohio with their estate planning and other elder law needs. For more information or to discuss your needs, give us a call today.