15 Questions You Should Ask Yourself Before Hiring In-Home Care

15 Questions You Should Ask Yourself Before Hiring In-Home Care

Hiring an in-home caregiver is an important decision which shouldn’t be taken lightly. The caregiver will be around your loved ones for a significant portion of their day, assisting with their everyday tasks and looking after their health and well-being. Not only should a caregiver be well trained in assisting with these tasks, but they should also be a good personality match with your loved one.

In-home care has many benefits, but before you begin the interview process, make sure you have a comprehensive list of questions that cover the basic information you want to find out from the caregiver, as well as any specific questions about the needs of your loved one. To get you started, here are 15 questions you should ask yourself before hiring in-home care.

1. Is In-Home Care the Right Solution?

Most discussions around in-home care center on the fact that your loved ones may not want to leave their home. Homes hold memories, but may not be equipped to accommodate the present and future needs of your loved ones, and above all, their home should be a safe place.

2. What Kind of Care Will Be Required?

If you have determined that in-home care is the best solution for your family, the next step is to evaluate what kind of care will be necessary. Does your loved one need physical therapy, bathing and meals cooked? Be specific about your expectations when interviewing potential candidates.

3. How Often Will My Loved One Need Care?

This question can have a big impact on the financial aspect of in-home care, as well as the type of caregiver you hire. Round-the-clock care is expensive and requires multiple caregivers. In this case, it is often recommended you go through an agency. However, if only a moderate amount of care is needed, or only at specific times, then privately employing a caregiver may be a better option.

4. Is the Agency or Caregiver Certified by Medicare or Medicaid?

Certification with these organizations is an important part of ensuring compliance with state and Federal laws, codes or conduct. It ensures any caregivers and practices endorsed by an agency are not fraudulent, exploitative or wasteful.

5. Is the Caregiver Bonded and Insured?

Bonding ensures that you, the client, is protected from fraud or unsatisfactory performance. And insurance protects the caregiver or you from any financial losses. If you are hiring through an agency, inquire if the caregivers are bonded and insured through the agency. Otherwise, you will have to check with each caregiver you interview.

6. What Experience Does the Caregiver Have?

Use this broad question to get an idea about the personality of the caregivers by noticing patterns in the types of work they are drawn to. Do they have a history of working in the care industry or position that required significant interpersonal skills and communication?

7. What Training Does Your Caregiver Have?

Basic training for caregivers varies from state to state. Ask about the specific training and courses the candidates have completed to best determine their suitability. You could also ask whether they have any other skills that may be useful when caring for your loved one.

8. Is the Caregiver Able to Provide More than Physical Care?

Daily caregiving tasks require physically performing tasks your loved one is otherwise unable to do, and any caregiver you hire should perform these tasks. They should readily adapt and support the emotional needs of your loved one.

Photo of retiree and caregiver playing chess

9. Does Your Love One Need Transport?

Find out whether a candidate has a current driver’s license, a good driving record and if they can transfer someone from the car to a wheelchair, or from wheelchair to bed.

10. What Screening Process Does the Agency Use When Hiring?

Depending on where you are located, state laws for the type of training required of caregivers can differ. Make sure you ask for a copy of the candidate’s credentials.

11. Do I Need to Perform a Background Check?

If you are hiring through an agency, they most likely will have done a thorough background check before employing a caregiver. If you a hiring privately, always do your own check and ask for reliable references.

12. Does my Loved One’s Insurance Cover the Cost of -In-Home Care?

For people over 65, Medicare may cover part of their in-home care. Check with their insurance provider before arranging in-home care, and check with the agency which insurance plans they accept.

13. How Will Payroll Be Organized?

If you are hiring through an agency, often they will complete the necessary paperwork. However, if you hire privately, you will need to cover all the paperwork yourself, including taxes and social security.

14. If Hiring Through an Agency, Will the Same Caregiver Be Used Every Time?

Often, agencies rotate their caregivers, so your loved one may not have the same caregiver every day. This type of change can be problematic if your loved one thrives on predictability and routine. Also, building a bond between the caregiver and the client helps create a more trusting relationship.

Image of caregiver and senior resting in the garden

15. Finally, Does Your Loved One Approve of the Caregiver?

Unless your loved one feels comfortable with the caregiver, the arrangement is not going to work. Try to involve them in the decision-making process as much as possible. Allow your loved one to ask most of the interview questions, if they are able, as this will help them to feel more in control of the situation and more confident in their choice.


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  • Becky McDowell
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