Hiring an in-home caregiver for the elderly is a decision with a powerful impact both on your finances and on your peace of mind. Basically, you trust a stranger with the care and well being of a member of your family.
That person has complete access to your loved one’s home and possessions. Building trust on a short notice is very hard, but circumstances may not allow you to put off the moment of providing home care for an elderly person.
Seek Help in the Right Place
The only place where you should look for in-home caregivers is a professional agency. There are absolutely no other safe alternatives – not even personal recommendations from neighbors and friends. Each elderly care case is different, and only a specialized healthcare professional can determine the level of help your loved one needs.
While you may think that hiring a company is more expensive than finding an independent caregiver, you should consider your abilities in selecting the right person. Are you sure you know all the necessary questions to ask and to follow up on every recommendation provided by the person who applied to your ad?
Before you answer, here is how in-home care companies select their staff and what internal procedures they follow to make sure that each employee is doing their job properly.
The Recruitment Process
Not just everyone gets to work for a senior home care agency. These agencies know exactly what type of persons can be trusted to care for an elderly person and they scrutinize the entire background of any applicant.
Reputable companies typically perform the following types of checks:
- Background check – every reference provided by the applicant is checked by phone call. The companies will not accept only personal references from friends and family. They will also request professional references from hierarchical superiors, coworkers and families they work for.
- Criminal record check – applicants must provide a complete and up to date criminal record file from the authorities. Any type of criminal activity from the past, no matter how insignificant, will disqualify the person from the recruitment process.
- Financial situation – home care companies are aware that some people under financial strain may resort to applying to elderly care positions in order to gain access to people’s home. Therefore, the applicants must prove that they are not in debt, have not filed for personal bankruptcy and do not have a negative credit score.
It takes one dishonest employee to ruin the reputation of an entire company, especially in such a sensitive field as elderly in-home care. This is why senior care companies have very strict monitoring policies, which not only ensure that their employees are honest and trustworthy, but that they provide high quality services and treat their charges with dignity and respect.
Whenever you have a justified reason to mistrust the caregiver assigned to your loved one, you can contact the company and a new person will be sent to provide in-home services. This way, you can be sure that you will not leave your elderly relative unsupervised and without immediate help if you are unhappy with a worker and wish to terminate their employment.