5 Things to Remember When Hiring an In-Home Caregiver

Home Caregiver

It can be difficult watching a parent or relative lose some of their motor skills or mental capabilities as they grow old. While you may always remember your father as the tough guy who could cut through metal with his bare hands, you know that he may need some help around the house.

Your loved one may be very much against the idea of going to a nursing home, so what about hiring an in-home caregiver?

Hiring an in-home caregiver should be a lengthy process. You don’t want just anyone coming in to take care of a loved one. You want to be able to find the right person for your unique situation.

Be Clear With What You Need

The first step to finding the ideal caregiver is being clear on what you need for your loved one. You should think about the following questions:

  • How long does the caregiver need to be at the home?
  • Will they need to work on weekends?
  • What kind of experience do they need?
  • What else will they be responsible for (cooking, cleaning, etc.)?
  • Should they be trained in anything special (how to give certain medications, CPR, etc.)?
  • What do they need to do on a day-to-day basis?

It will help if you write out what a typical day would look like and what you’d expect from them. That way, you can avoid any issues upfront.

Research Payment

Besides a job description, one thing you find in just about every job announcement is how much the person is going to be paid.

Unless you’ve hired a caregiver before, you might not be sure how much to pay the person. If you’re going through a center or institute, they’ll likely set their own rates.

But if you’re hiring independently, where do you start? The job database website Indeed has a salary research tool where you can plug in the job title, city, and state to help give you an idea of what an average salary is.

A recent survey from the International Nanny Association produced the following results:

That doesn’t mean you have to go with that exact amount, but it can help you ballpark a number.

Take Your Time With the Interviews

While you may feel pressure to find someone quickly, it’s best that you take your time when it comes to carrying out the interviews.

More than likely, you or someone else in your family will be carrying out the hiring process, so it’s best not to overwhelm your loved one with multiple candidates.

Start by going through applications, schedule a phone call, and then a face-to-face interview. From there, you can pick and choose a few whom you think would be the most ideal candidates for the position.

Then you can take them to meet your loved one and receive their input. That way you can keep everyone from being overwhelmed with meetings and interviews.

Perform Background Checks

While you might think you have all you need to know after the interviews, it’s important that you carry out a background check on any serious candidates. You hope no one would be hiding something, but it always pays to make sure.

Each state has different guidelines on how to carry out certain background checks as well as various limitations on those asking for a background check, so make sure you’re following all guidelines.

The best practice is to go through a third-party provider, as they have experience navigating the legal side and can provide quick results.

Additionally, you should ask for professional references. That way, you can hear a bit about their past job experience and understand a little bit more about their qualifications and history.

The Legal Side

While it may be tempting and easy to hand them cash under the table, it’s also highly illegal and comes with big repercussions if Uncle Sam and the IRS find out what you’re doing.

There are online services to help you manage any in-home employees. With these, you will be able to sort out any W-2s or other tax forms necessary.

Your own taxes may already seem confusing enough, so make sure you’re getting the help you need to be able to do everything right. The last thing you want is a call or visit from the IRS!