Hiring an elder care worker or agency to help a senior is a daunting task. Here are some tips to help you find the right fit!
Assessing a care worker
Ideally, a community or private agency will have verified the candidate’s professional skills and references. Your task is therefore to interview for the best fit with your parent.
- Ask the care worker:
- Tell me about your last position.
- What did you do?
- What did you enjoy most about it?
- Listen for how they express themselves, the enthusiasm they show for the job and whether your parent can understand them clearly.
- Have your parent explain what is needed:
- See how the person listens and reacts.
- Does he or she seem empathetic?
- Does he or she seem sincerely interested?
- Ask the interviewee to re-state the requirements.
- Encourage questions.
If you do not use an agency, hire an elder care professional to make an assessment, do reference and academic checks and “test” the worker on some real-life scenarios.
Tips for hiring an agency
- Ensure the agency has assessed and clearly outlined its understanding of the care and support requirements.
- Be sure your elderly loved one (the client), as well as the family, has “bought into” the arrangements.
- Start slowly and build on success. Consider beginning with care for a few hours on a couple of days a week, rather than a smothering program of eight hours every day.
- Determine the “reporting” relationship. Who will supervise the workers? (Hint: it should be the agency staff, not the adult daughter.)
- Be sure the agency has quality-control procedures so the services are constantly monitored and fine-tuned. It’s only natural that needs will vary and evolve over time.