If you’re looking to hire an in-home caregiver, there is a lot to take into consideration. The caregiver you hire becomes responsible for the day-to-day care, physical health, and improvement of your loved one’s quality of life. Essentially, you’ll either be fulfilling the role of companion or hiring a companion, so you must meet certain qualifications to deliver the specific care they’ll need. Whether you’re newly trained or a seasoned caregiver, it’s essential you meet the qualifications for the role you perform.
Below, we’ll help you get a greater understanding of the intricacies of caregiver qualifications and why they’re important.
Why Fulfilling Caregiving Qualifications is Important
In a caregiving interview, the qualifications and credentials of the caregiver are essential to cover. From the interviewer’s perspective, it is essential to see if this caregiver can perform the duties necessary, are reliable and trustworthy, and if they are capable of enriching your loved one’s life. We recommend taking the necessary steps in ensuring a prospective caregiver has the right skills, experience, and qualifications required to provide appropriate care for you or your loved one.
Required Skills for Caregivers
A caregiver needs specific skills to be effective in their role. These skills are essential for maintaining a high quality of life, standard of care and for creating a healthy relationship between the caregiver and the care recipient. Skills related to communication, medical training, and protocol are vital for providing high-quality care.
If you’re interested in learning more about the type of skills you’ll need to be an effective caregiver, check out our page on the 12 caregiver skills you should have.
Identifying a Qualified Caregiver
To identify a qualified caregiver, you’ll want to pry into their past work experiences as a caregiver (if applicable), perform a background check, get references or referrals from previous employers, and look to see if they are bonded, insured, and well trained. In addition, if your loved one has Alzheimer’s, Dementia, Diabetes, or another chronic disease or condition, you may also want to look for specialized training or certifications.
Depending on how the caregiver is hired, whether it be from a home care agency or personally by the family of the care recipient, a background check may be required. This isn’t an uncommon practice; caregivers that work in nursing homes and home health aides (HHA) must undergo this screening process before starting work. Typically, caregivers that work for home care agencies are usually subject to background checks as part of acquiring their license or certifications.
If you’re looking to hire a caregiver outside of an agency, it’s a must to perform a background check. A background check should cover any criminal record, assess job performance, and verify the information they’ve provided to you.
When reviewing the identity of a potential caregiver, be sure to check for:
- Valid driver’s license
- Valid credentials/licenses
- Relevant information (i.e., current address, phone, etc.)
- Work history
Discussions about experience are one of the most prominent aspects of an interview with a potential caregiver candidate. In tandem with experience usually comes referrals; if you have previous experience, more than likely, you’ll have previous employers willing to vouch for your abilities. In addition, referrals help the family of the care recipient get a better understanding of you and fill in any potential questions they may have about you.
Interviewing a potential caregiver gives you an idea to their qualifications.
Put together a list of interview questions for any caregivers you wish to talk to. This way, you have a ready-made list of things to ask to determine any given caregiver’s qualifications. Include questions concerning their experience, personality, and hypotheticals to better understand how well they can perform their duties.
Meeting Caregiver Qualifications
It’s important to remember that caregiving is a uniquely intimate role and that the quality of your work directly impacts someone’s life. For that reason, it’s essential you strive to be well trained, certified, insured, and bonded to the best of your abilities to ensure you qualify to be a caregiver.
A bonded caregiver is someone who is bonded by their agency. In this case, a bonded caregiver refers to an employee in which the agency has acquired a bond to cover the client in the unfortunate case of theft or property damage. A bonded caregiver comes with an extra level of security and peace of mind that the caregiver is there to do their duties. In most cases, if a caregiver is bonded, the agency has more than likely subjected them to a background check to feel more comfortable with their decision.
A Caregiver’s Experience in the Field
Depending on the needs of your loved one, the amount of experience your potential caregiver has may be a driving factor in your decision-making process. However, there are benefits to a newer caregiver compared to a seasoned caregiver. For example, a newly trained and certified caregiver may be more familiar with newer protocols, techniques, and technologies available to make care much more effective. Seasoned caregivers have more experience and, more than likely, are more well-versed in handling various situations. To determine which is best for you, the best place to start is to determine the needs of your loved one.
Working With an In-Home Care Agency
Whether you’re looking for a caregiver, or want to become one, the best place to start is with an in-home care agency. At JEVS Care at Home, we’re here to help connect families with caregivers well trained and prepared to care for their loved one. For those looking to become caregivers, we’re here to provide the support, tools, training, and resources you’ll need to get started on the right foot.
Contact us today if you’re interested in learning more about how JEVS Care at Home helps you connect with the right caregiver for you or your loved one.