Thinking about hiring a caregiver directly to save the cost of a full service In-Home Care agency? This do it yourself approach can have unpleasant consequences, but at least decide on and follow a formal procedure to protect yourself and your loved one.
Always do a complete background check, including a drug testing. There are some wonderful, dedicated caregivers who really care about the elderly and are completely trustworthy but there are also unscrupulous people seeking to work with the elderly whose real intent is financial exploitation. Some are capable of neglect and physical abuse. Don’t take chances. Always interview a potential caregiver twice. Attitudes or inconsistencies can emerge in the second interview that do not show up in one interview. Ask a trusted friend to sit in on the interviews. The perspective of another observer can often be very helpful. Asking the applicant open ended questions that can’t be answered by a “Yes or No” can be very revealing. Example: “Can you tell me why you like working with the elderly”, or “What don’t you like about working with seniors.”
Have the applicant sign a general release form to give you permission to make inquiries about their background. References, credit history and driving records can be very revealing. Be business-like and don’t hesitate to ask personal questions. The person being interviewed is probably going to be alone, unsupervised with your loved one for many hours. To protect you and your senior be cautious and diligent.