Ways to Find the Right Caregiver When You Live Out of State
When you live out of state and your parents need assistance from a caregiver, it can be challenging to locate the right caregiver for your parents' needs. Start by assessing what your parents' in-home care needs are. Do they need assistance with bathing, grooming, and dressing as the result of a stroke they suffered? Or are you primarily interested in a caregiver who will be a companion and run errands for your parents during the week?
The next thing to consider is which qualifications you want the caregiver to have. Maybe you want a caregiver who possesses CPR certification and at least five years of home health care experience.
Finally, you should write out a contract for the caregiver you choose. It should include the wages and when they'll be paid, a detailed job description, unacceptable behaviors, and you and the caregiver's signatures. Here are other things to consider when choosing the right caregiver.
Consider Hiring a Live-In Caregiver
If you and your siblings all live out of state, then it might be a good idea to hire a live-in caregiver. Some benefits of live-in caregivers include constant communication concerning your parents' needs and health issues, consistent reliability, and constant companionship for your parents. The cost is also less than hiring caregivers who work different shifts.
Before you hire a certain caregiver, you want to interview her and learn more about her previous work experience. Then you should conduct a background check. Once you hire the live-in caregiver, be in regular communication with her concerning your parents. Also, visit your parents periodically to ensure that things are going smoothly.
Have a Trial Period First
To get a better idea of how well the potential caregiver will do with your parents, do a trial period with them first. Visit your parents' home for about one or two weeks and show the caregiver which tasks she is responsible for and how to do them properly. Your parents might also give extra instructions for the caregiver to follow during her shift. Then have your parents observe her work and give you feedback. Use this feedback to determine if you want to hire the right caregiver permanently.
Check All References
This is paramount because if the caregiver's past employers felt that her job performance was less than stellar, then it is likely that she won't do the best job with your parents. Ask her past employers about the things they liked the most and least about the caregiver. Ask about the specific duties that the caregiver performed and if they were done well on a regular basis.
Hiring Through a Home Health Agency
If you don't want to hire an independent caregiver, you can use a home health agency to hire someone. One benefit of hiring a home health agency is that they will do the interviewing, screening, and background checks for you. If the main caregiver cannot work with your parents for a certain amount of days, the agency can send a substitute worker to your parents. In addition, you avoid the stress associated with managing payroll and liabilities.
Before you choose a certain agency, ask if it is a certified Medicare provider. Also, ask how long the agency has existed, if it's licensed by your state, and which services they offer clients. Here is a list of things you should consider when looking for the right agency.
Hold a Family Meeting
Before and after you choose the right caregiver, you should hold family meetings with your parents, siblings, and other relatives. Discuss the plans you have for your parents to have a caregiver in their home and what her main duties will be. Allow your parents and relatives to ask questions or bring up valid concerns. By having these meetings, you make sure that everyone is on the same page regarding the care of your parents at their home.
Learn More About Finding the Right Caregiver
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