How to Choose a Caregiver

Posted on

Sep 16, 2013


Colorado - Northern Colorado

Share This
As the 80 million baby boomers reach retirement age, many of them will need support to maintain their active lifestyles and quality of life. More and more, however, seniors and their families are recognizing the benefits of hiring caregivers to help them stay in their homes longer, in comfort and safety, and to give families peace of mind. The key question is how do you find the right caregiver? While there is no one simple answer, these guidelines will help you in this important decision making process.
First and foremost, assess what your needs are. Do you need home health care, such as nursing, physical therapy or medication management? Do you need non-medical personal care, such as help with bathing, dressing, toileting, and meal preparation, or are you looking mainly for a companion or sitter? What hours of the day or night do you need help? Based on this information, you can discern what skills and background your caregivers should have.
Once you know your needs, you need to decide where to look for a caregiver. You may not want to spend time looking in places where you wont find someone suitable for you. Neighbors or friends may seem to be good prospective caregivers. Family members are a natural choice, but first and foremost, hiring, managing, and firing a caregiver are all business decisions, and for that reason, many family members (or friends) don't make good paid help. Hire a professional caregiver if you can afford it.
Prepare a list of questions to ask. Have a list for any applicant, caregiver agency, referral source, or reference you may call during your search. If you don't know what questions to ask a private caregiver, call a caregiver agency. The agency should be helpful, because you are a prospective customer.
After you have screened applicants on the telephone, you should conduct an interview in person with those who sound acceptable. Invite a friend or family member to sit in on the interview to provide a second opinion. Always observe interactions between the worker and the person who will be receiving care to assess how they mesh with each other.
If you are interviewing a caregiver agency, ask to interview the in-home caregivers yourself. Many agency employees look good on paper, but will not be a good fit for you, either for cultural, religious, social, or any number of reasons. You may just not like the person the agency has assigned to you. It is important to check references carefully, talking to everyone who is given as a reference. Remember, you are looking for someone who is dependable and reliable as well as someone who is qualified to do the work. If you are hiring an agency or from an agency, make sure that the agency does criminal background checks. Many states laws require a background check, but that doesn't mean it has been done.
You want to hire a caregiver who has experience in the specific areas in which you need help. For instance, people who have Alzheimer's disease often need help with toileting and bathing, so look for someone who has experience in working with elders with this illness. Try to hire a licensed and bonded care-giver. If the agency is not licensed or bonded, you may want to look somewhere else.
Following these simple steps can help insure that you find the right caregiver for you or for your loved one.
Editors Note: This article was submitted by Dr. David Fraser, MBA. Dr. Fraser is the chairman of the Home Care Standards Bureau and the CEO of Vitality Home Healthcare. He may be reached at 970-667-2273 or by email at

Other Articles You May Like

Talking To Your Parents About Senior Living: Why Choose Sooner Rather Than Later?

Transitioning to senior living can be an intimidating prospect for many seniors. If you are a family member or friend of a senior, it can be difficult to know how to approach the subject and begin talking about the next steps. But, starting the conversation sooner rather than later is important so that seniors have time to make decisions and prepare for their transition in a way that feels comfortable. Here are some tips on how to start talking to your loved ones about senior living and why it is an important conversation to have and earlier than you think.Do Your Research First When it comes to transitioning into senior living, knowledge is power. Knowing what types of options are available and what services different facilities provide can help ease any anxiety around the conversation and give you both some context for your discussion.Doing research ahead of time is crucial for starting the conversation on the right foot. It will help you gain a better understanding of how senior living works and what your loved ones individual needs might be. Its also important to remember that each senior living community is unique in its own way; some offer more amenities than others, while some focus on particular health issues or dietary concerns within their care plan. By doing thorough research ahead of time, you can identify which communities best fit your loved ones needs.Doing your research first when talking to your loved ones about senior living options will also help you find out which type of senior living would best fit your loved ones needs and preferences from independent living facilities with limited assistance to full-service care homes with round-the-clock medical attention so that you can have a meaningful discussion about their specific wants and needs.Maintain Open Communication & Let It Be an Ongoing Process Above all else, open communication is key when discussing this type of transition with your loved one. Its essential that they feel listened to and respected during each step of this process from researching options together to visiting different facilities to making final decisions about where they want to live in their golden years. Some facilities even offer various amenities and benefits to increase the comfort of their residents, including in-house catering for improved nutrition, event calendars for increased social interaction, and advanced security for increased peace of mind. When talking to your parents about senior living, listen to which amenities and services your family would love the most, and ensure you communicate these benefits to them.Secondly, rather than having one large discussion about moving into a senior living community, try having several small conversations over time instead. The goal should ultimately be finding a solution that meets your loved ones needs while still allowing them the freedom and dignity they deserve so dont rush anything or expect an immediate answer. Allow plenty of time for reflection so your loved one can process everything theyre hearing before making a final decision.  Additionally, keep in mind that if they feel overwhelmed by the idea of transitioning into senior living, they may not be ready yet and thats okay! Take it slow and allow them as much time as necessary before proceeding further down the path toward finding them a home.Talk in Person With Empathy and PositivityAbove all else, when talking to your parents about senior living options, its important to remember that this is not just about them moving out of their home its also about providing them with quality care in a safe environment where theyll continue to enjoy their retirement years without worry or stress. Approach the subject from an empathetic perspective one that acknowledges their fears but also encourages them by highlighting all the wonderful benefits senior living has to offer! When done correctly and respectfully, talking about senior living can ultimately lead to a positive outcome for everyone involved and hopefully bring peace of mind for both parties as well.Grace Pointe Senior Care Community of Greeley, Colorado: How We Can HelpStarting the conversation about transitioning into senior living can be daunting at first, but having an informed discussion sooner rather than later allows seniors more time to weigh their options and make decisions that feel comfortable for them while also giving families peace of mind knowing they have explored all available resources together. With patience, respect, understanding, and access to helpful resources like Grace Pointes Senior Care Resources, beginning these conversations doesnt have to be overwhelming or stressful instead, it can be reassuring and informative!At Grace Pointe Senior Care Community of Greeley, Colorado, our approach to care is customized to help when talking to your parents about senior living options available to them.  Our assisted living team is available to discuss care options in order to design a care plan that is best for you or your family member.We hope this article helped supply you with the information to make a confident and informed decision for you and your loved ones. However, if youre still not sure how to address this difficult but necessary conversation with your loved ones, we can help! We have numerous resources to help you make the right decision for your family, including our Complete Guide to Assisted Living in Greeley, Colorado. Also, feel free to take our Continuum of Care Quiz and let the expert team at Grace Pointe Senior Care Community match you with recommended services based on your answers.

Crafting Comfort: Senior Organizing Solutions Unveiled

In the realm of crafting comfort and promoting a sense of order, A Call to Order Professional Organizer stands out as a beacon of expertise, specializing in Senior Organizing Solutions. Our mission is to unveil the potential for tranquility and ease in the lives of seniors by meticulously organizing their living spaces. Our guiding principle is rooted in compassion and practicality, recognizing the unique needs of seniors and tailoring our services to create personalized, efficient solutions.As you embark on the journey of senior organizing, consider the following tips to enhance the process. Firstly, prioritize sentimental items and incorporate them into the organization plan, ensuring a balance between functionality and emotional connection. Secondly, make use of accessible storage solutions to simplify daily routines. A Call to Order emphasizes a gentle and collaborative approach, ensuring that the organizing process is not only effective but also a positive experience for seniors. Crafting comfort through thoughtful organization is not just a service; it's a commitment to enhancing the quality of life for our cherished seniors. A Call to Order Professional Organizer: Crafting Comfort: Senior Organizing Solutions Unveiled - because every moment deserves the tranquility of order.

Social Media and Seniors : Connecting and Staying Safe Online by Senior Care Authority

Social Media and Seniors: Connecting and Staying Safe OnlineIn todays digital age, social media is a great way for seniors to stay connected to friends and family. With the right guidance, seniors can join platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube to create connections online. Although some may be hesitant to start using social media, it is important that they understand how beneficial it can be for finding new ways to connect with those they care about.Getting Started with Social MediaFor those who have never used social media before, the first step is to find what will work best for them. There are many platforms available for seniors to choose from; however, the most popular options are generally Facebook and YouTube. Both of these sites offer easy-to-navigate interfaces that allow users to quickly get up and running without needing any prior experience. Additionally, both sites have dedicated support teams that can answer questions or provide help if needed.Once signed up, seniors can start sharing messages with friends and family members all over the world in just a few clicks. Through instant messaging apps like Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp, seniors can stay in touch with loved ones no matter where they are located. This makes it easier than ever before for seniors to stay connected even when they cannot physically meet up in person due to distance or other factors such as health concerns.Building Connections OnlineIn addition to connecting with those who are already part of their lives, social media also provides an opportunity for seniors to make new connections. For example, on Facebook, there are numerous groups available for people in similar life stages or situations who want to share experiences or ask questions from other members of the group. This type of networking not only provides valuable knowledge but offers a great way for seniors to build relationships with others outside of their immediate circle of friends and family members.Social media is an invaluable tool that allows seniors to stay connected and make meaningful connections onlineno matter where they live! From staying in touch with loved ones through instant messaging apps to joining interest groups on Facebook and YouTube dedicated specifically towards baby boomers or adults aged 50+, social media offers a plethora of opportunities for anyone looking to strengthen their online presence while enjoying the convenience of connecting virtually from anywhere in the world!  While staying active on social media is fun and rewarding, there are certain risks that all users should take into accountespecially when it comes to seniors. Read on to learn more about the potential pitfalls of social media for seniors and how best to protect yourself online.Keep Information PrivateWhen creating a profile, its important to make sure your personal information is kept private and that your passwords are secure. Sharing too much information or using weak passwords could leave you vulnerable to hackers or scammers.Be Careful Who You Interact WithAnother important safety measure is being careful who you interact with online. In todays digital world, it can be difficult to know if someone is who they say they are--which means you should always exercise caution before engaging with strangers online or accepting friend requests from people you dont know in real life. AKeep Your Software Up-to-DateFinally, one of the most effective ways for seniors to stay safe online is by making sure their software is up-to-date at all times. This includes things like anti-virus software, firewalls, browsers, etc., which help protect against malicious attacks and hackers trying to gain access to sensitive data or personal information stored on your devices. Make sure all your devices have the latest version of any necessary software installed so you can rest easy knowing your data is safe and secure at all times.Social media has many benefits for seniorsfrom staying connected with loved ones near and far away to exploring new interests allowing everyone to stay safe when using these networks. By understanding the risks associated with using social media platforms, carefully monitoring who interacts with you online, and keeping all software up-to-date, seniors can better protect themselves while still enjoying all the perks that come along with being active on social media!