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How to Choose a Caregiver Agency

Elderly woman in wheelchair and hospice helper

If you’re providing care to an elderly or sick loved one, at some point you will consider hiring help. It might be because you need to work a full time job, or maybe you just need backup on the weekends. Whatever your reasons, choosing a caregiver can be a complicated decision. You want to hire a truly caring person, who is devoted to this career path, rather that someone who just wants to make a few extra bucks. If you’re choosing a caregiver for your loved one, follow these steps to select the right person for the job.

Make a list of your specific needs. Caregivers are human, and like anyone else, have their own strengths and weaknesses. In order to ensure a good fit for your situation, assess the duties you expect a caregiver to perform. Will they be driving your loved one to appointments? Will you need this person to perform house cleaning duties? Will they help your loved one in the bathroom? How mobile is your loved one? Will the caregiver need to be sturdy and strong, to help them move about the home and community? Make a list of the duties you expect this person to perform.

Check references. Ask all applicants to supply a work history – and then actually call these references! You would be surprised at the number of people who forget to complete this important step. You’re looking for someone both skilled and dependable, but also honest and compassionate. The right caregiver will exhibit both professional and personal characteristics that make them a good fit for your family.

Check for appropriate licensing. When selecting a caregiving agency, check that their employees have a criminal background check, are appropriately licensed. In addition, when selecting a caregiving agency, make sure they are licensed and bonded.

Invite your loved one into the process. If your loved one is able to make sound decisions, ask for his or her opinion. Sometimes, a patient and caregiver simply “click” for personal reasons, and you want their personalities to be a good fit.

Monitor your new caregiver. Drop in to check on your loved one, and ask for periodic reports from your caregiver or their agency. It is your right to be informed of everything pertaining to your loved one’s daily life and care.

Give us a call. The hiring process for a caregiver can be time-consuming and difficult. We maintain a network of professionals and resources that can help guide you toward the decisions that work for you.

As a trusted member of the community, Hospice of the Valleys has been providing hospice care to the Inland Valley and Fallbrook for over 34 years. Please call us for senior community resources, or for information about hospice care. We’re here to help. 951-200-7800

One thought on “How to Choose a Caregiver Agency

  1. I like your idea about how involving your loved one in the selection process may help you find a candidate that just clicks or just connects with the patient on a deep level. My aunt is a very sociable person, and she knows when does not want to be friends with someone. I will be sure to advise the family to bring her to interviews so that she can decide on the caregiver that she can connect with the most.

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