What Questions Should I Ask a Potential Caregiver?

In Health by Companions for Seniors

Are you looking into hiring an in-home caregiver for your loved one, but not quite sure where to start? You’re not alone!

Hiring a professional caregiver can be a hugely beneficial step for not just your loved one, but yourself. With a companion’s help, you can make sure that your aging family member is being given the care and attention they need… while also giving yourself an important chance to relax, recharge, and refocus on the most important things in your life.

But we know it can be daunting to get started! After all, there are many different services and providers out there, offering what seem like many different types of care. And what about the caregivers themselves? Are they going to be trained? Will they be a fit for your loved one, personality-wise? You probably have all sorts of questions, or maybe you’re drawing a blank. That happens too!

Caring for your family is an important part of your life – and recognizing when and how to ask for help can feel like taking a massive leap. We understand how much you want to get everything exactly right.

So, know this: By even starting to research and look at your options, you’re already taking an invaluable first step toward a better life for yourself and your senior.

As you move forward looking for a caregiver or companion, you may wish to meet with different candidates, and get a feel for all of your options. As you begin to talk to potential caregivers, it can sometimes be hard to know just which questions to ask. What should you even be looking for in an in-home companion? What questions should you have answered before you commit to a course of action?

Let’s see if we can help. Here are some questions you may want to consider as you get started with a caregiver or companionship service:

Training

There are many different types of caregivers out there, and it’s important to consider someone’s qualifications before hiring them to care for your parent or loved one. As you meet with caregivers or service companies, you may wish to ask:

  • Do your caregivers receive formal training?
  • Are your caregivers bonded and insured?
  • Do your caregivers have valid driver’s licenses?
  • Do you have credentials that I could see?
  • Have your caregivers been given a thorough background check?

References

Oftentimes, the best way to gauge whether any type of service provider will suit you is to look back to their past experiences. You can do this with questions like:

  • Do you have any references that you could provide?
  • Do you have any credentials with groups like the BBB, or relevant caregiving agencies for your state?
  • Do you have any reviews on sites like Facebook, Yelp, or Google?
  • Do you have social media profiles I could find and take a look at?

Availability and Job Details

Will your caregiver be able to provide the services your loved one needs, on a schedule that works for your family? As you get started, feel free to ask questions like:

  • Do you have experience working with clients with my loved one’s unique condition?
  • Do you you provide assistance with activities of daily living, like dressing, cleaning, or bathing?
  • Do you offer transportation services? If so, do you use company cars?
  • Are you able to help with services like laundry help, cooking and cleaning, or so on? Can  you work within my loved one’s dietary guidelines?
  • When can you start working?
  • How many hours a day are you able to work? As few as one? As many as 24?
  • Can a caregiver stay with my loved one in a rehab center or hospital, if necessary?
  • What are your expectations about holidays, time off, emergency scheduling, etc?

At the same time, don’t hesitate to talk pricing. It will help you and your caregivers to be on the same page early when it comes to hourly rates, terms and conditions (such as whether charges are based on a sliding scale), driving rates for vehicles, payment options (including whether long-term care insurance is an option), and more.

Experience and Personality

Finally, don’t be afraid to get personal! You’re going to be working closely with your caregiver and their support team, and it’s important to find people who will be the right fit. You may want to ask questions such as:

  • How would you respond if…
  • What got you interested in this line of work?
  • What are some challenges you’ve faced in caregiving? Success stories?
  • What is your background?
  • Will you share meals with my loved one?
  • Is it possible to hire a caregiver whose interests line up with my parent’s?
  • What are your goals as a caregiver?
  • Do you have a guiding philosophy or mission statement?

Good luck! As we’ve said, hiring a caregiver is an important step forward, and we hope you’re able to find someone who is a great fit for you and your loved one.

Hopefully this list of questions has gotten the gears turning, so that you can move forward with confidence!

About Companions for Seniors

At Companions for Seniors, our mission is to help seniors live independently and with dignity in the comfort of their own home by empowering them to lead an active and enriched lifestyle, connecting them with their community, and nurturing meaningful relationships.

We are locally owned in Chicago, Illinois, with clients in both the city and suburbs. All of our companions are trained, bonded, and insured, and we offer personalized care plans to ensure that every client’s specific needs are met. Companions are available on a full- and part-time basis, and offer assistance with activities of daily living, driving services, and more.

Have any more questions about caregiving? Looking for an experienced guide? Ready to get started? Don’t hesitate to drop us a line or give us a call today!