7 Things to Check Before Hiring A Home Care Professional

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(Last Updated On: September 27, 2017)

When life changes due to an illness, ailment, the unexpected or the inevitable aging, maintaining one’s independence and personal care as you may have otherwise chosen to do, in a particular manner and in a particular fashion, may become a tad more enigmatic than you could have anticipated. Help with doctor’s appointments, personal care, medication reminders, meal preparation, household chores, and other diurnal activities can relive much of the stress, you and your loved one may be forbearing and undergoing. Worrying about the safety and health of your frail, loved- one at home, may be extensive enough to consume your thoughts, and feelings making it more difficult and formidable than you could have possibly imagined, to focus on other important and crucial areas of your life. Care provided by a qualified, professional and loving home-care agency is an ideal option for many families and can bring back the joy in your family life starting now!

Home-care is a scalable service designed to provide just the right amount and type of care desired by you for your ailed loved-one, and especially if they cater to your specific needs! Choosing a caregiver for your loved-one is however, not as straightforward and as it may appear. You must play a ton of roles while deciding on whether a home care professional is the right decision and alternative for your unbearing and exhaustive situation. Such roles include the role of a detective- in finding out the pros and cons of letting an outsider into your home, to take care and of the frail, figuring out what type of home-care service would be apt for you and your current situation, and an

assemblage of other research and inquisition in deciding what sort of home-care you would like to opt for. It is of utmost importance to know exactly how your loved-one feels about having a stranger assist and care for them, in your absence. Elderly people especially, have the tendency to behave in a more stubborn fashion, than anybody else. They are more likely to be very rigid in not only their thoughts and beliefs, but also in ways that particular plans must be implemented. The role of a psychologist to your stay-home loved one, is of most importance and it has a huge impact on the mental health and stability of the loved-one. Another important role to be played, while deciding on whether to opt for Home-Care Professionals, is that of an HR professional to find a Caretaker who proves to be a right fit.

Now, I’m certain that all this information sounds like a lot of work and pressure. However, there is no need to feel intimidated. We, herein provide you with all the DO’s and DON’T’s to be considered while choosing a Caretaker for the ailed, at home. Be sure to play the significant role of the psychologist before opting to this decision.

If, after considerable contemplation you decide on opting for a Home-Care professional, then you are now faced with monumental task of deciding whether you want to hire such Caretaker through an agency or make a private-hire. There are also certain pro’s and ‘considerations’ to be taken into account before deciding on which Home-Care Professionals is an apt fit for you.

Most providers like Portea, screen applicants, offer training and handle all aspects of the paper-work ranging from payroll and taxes to legal matters. They also perform thorough background checks of all their prospective candidates. Such background checks range from the candidate’s credentials, to matching their educational achievements with the educational requirements, of performing such a job, and also double-check certifications and references from previous employer’s. The agency has, at its fingertips, full and verified access to all the information of the caretaker, before it chooses to hire him/her. The task of performing such methodical checks, is stressful, time consuming and mentally exhausting. Opting for a care-taker provided by an agency, eliminates this stressful research, and in case of any problem, the liability lies in the hands of the agency which may prove to be a lot easier, than it would otherwise. Going through an agency, may prove more efficient in other aspects too. If you have a preferred care-taker, the agency will provide you and your loved-one an efficient, similarly qualified in terms of education and more importantly experience, in case your regular care-taker is unable make it to work. This takes care of contingent situations, and last minute worry and stress on your part, is quite easily eliminated. However, as rosy and promising as hiring a care-taker through an agency may seem, there are certain factors to be extensively considered while choosing to opt for an agency, as a form of hiring your personal care-taker. Hiring a care-taker is already menacing enough. Having an outsider, into the premises of your home, to care for a family member, who is in a position and situation of utmost need and care, is daunting. Going through an agency, most people consider to be impersonal. After all, you are not fully in control and don’t necessarily have access to all the information about the care-taker- such as their salaries, and other crucial details that may affect their performance at work. Cost is another important factor to take into consideration, while choosing an agency. No doubt that cost isn’t of utmost importance, and you cannot put a value to how important taking care of someone so personal and dear to you is, let’s be rational and pragmatic and say that this is a prodigious factor to consider. Agencies, are known to be really ideal and suiting an option to many, however, it is not mythical that they charge a premium for their services.

The other option wherein hiring a care-taker is by the performance of a private hire on your part. A private hire too, has a number of factors to be considered before its actual implementation. In the case of a Private-Hire, you as an employer, are undoubtedly in more control. You, as an employer, can also get a first – hand feel and grasp of the candidates in the industry and a more informed decision about who in particular may be a right fit for you. Many people feel more at ease managing and controlling the hiring process themselves, because the care of your ailed loved-one is ‘oh so very personal’! As it is of truth, if you decide to find care for your loved-one yourself, you need to insightfully review potential care-givers. Finding candidates yourself, however, is a more tedious task, than opting for an agency is. If you choose to directly hire, you are now burdened with the task of having back-up caretakers in case your regular caretaker is unable to appear to work on any particular day, and even worse, without prior notice. It is always efficient and has proved effectual to have additional screened resources who can be summoned on an ‘as-needed’ basis.

Whichever selection of the two, that you choose to adopt, there are a variety of factors you must consider and scrutinize before hiring. These factors are enumerated as under:

1. Credentials and Licensing

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It is of relevance to make note of whether the candidate not only has experience, but any relevant training and other necessary credentials that shall prove to be effective and of use, in his/her employment. In some countries, in-home caretakers may be required to have certain licenses and certifications. It is important to check through your country’s appropriate and in-effect laws, to make sure your candidate fulfils its prerequisites in terms of licensing and certification. Be sure to review any relevant documentation. Certifications and Education are as important as past experience and personality. Although caregivers with certifications such as Certified Personal Care

Aide (CPCA), Home Health Aide (HHA), or Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), may command higher salaries, it is to be duly noted that they bring a higher level of knowledge and expertise to that position. They will also be qualified to perform tasks that Uncertified Caretakers may not be able to. You must feel assured that your prospective has met the Professional Caregiver Standards.

2. Check References
Always call references. A reference can confirm and buttress your feelings and instincts about a person or give you important information, or tell you to make sure you’ve gathered and assembled certain information, that you may have, in process of the overwhelm, that you may have overlooked or even better, forgotten about. Asking a former employer about the punctuality and attendance as well as the precise nature of the candidate’s work, is important. Be sure to ask questions relating to the termination of his/her employment, and other related questions. Such information is crucial to be referred to, wherein making your decision of hire.

Be sure to trust your instinct!

3. Background Checks
Consider paying for a criminal background check, or hiring a Private Investigator to find loop-holes in the candidate’s work-performance, if your means permit. This is to ensure efficiency

and safety of your ailed loved-one and to also provide security in your mind, when you are away. If this is not a feasible option for you, go simple and basic! Try running your candidate’s name in your local Search Engine and see what comes up. If it is a common name, try adding the city of Job Title to your search. Try gaining access to his/her formal as well as informal Social Media profiles to gain maximum access and information to the candidate’s life. Yes, nobody has a flawless record but it may be best to know what you are opting for, before you do.

4. Immigration Status

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Make sure to check the Immigration- status of the candidate you are choosing to hire. Employer’s may be liable for the employment of Illegal Immigrants on the assumption that they were aware of such immigration status, at the time of employment. To avoid the burden of proving otherwise, it is best to conduct research in this aspect, effectively, in time.

5. Contract
So many problems, conflicts and disputes can be avoided with a clear set written contract. The contract should spell out employment terms such as the cities and responsibilities of the candidate, His/Her hours, schedule, privileges, benefits (if any), meals to be provided for, etc. Compensation and benefits such as rate, frequency, benefits including days off, vacation, benefits, performance review, etc. must also be clearly enumerated in the Contract.

6. Ailed’s Opinion
Lastly, but most importantly, consider the opinion of the person being cared for, It is of utmost importance to know how he/she feels about their new caretaker, and whether the treatment being offered is acceptable. Mental Health is of as much importance as that of physical health is. Make sure, in the process of attending to their Physical ailments, you do not mentally stress or cause any form of mental disorder in the ailed person. Old age, especially when there is an absence of the spouse, brings feelings of loneliness, which may result to depression. Be sure to not care for one aspect of heath at the cost of another!

7. Professional Trained Attendants

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Avail professional trained attendants from service providers like Portea. With Portea, you can rest assured that the attendants are professionally trained and background checked. Besides, our attendants are supervised by senior doctors.

The health and safety of your loved one is your primary concern and the candidate you embark upon should be focused on the same concerns.

You won’t regret spending a bit more time getting to know the home care provider you choose and you may be able to avoid unexpected surprises down the line. You can always read customer stories of the provider to ensure quality service.

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