Finding a Paid Caregiver

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The first step towards hiring a professional caregiver is knowing what you are looking, such as personality type, how many hours a day, what you can afford, and the must have skills.

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Whether you are going through an agency, personal referrals or respondents to your ads, meeting and interviewing the actual caregiver can save from future problems. 

Where to find professional caregivers:
It is always important to interview the actual caregiver.  If you hire someone from an agency, it's also important to interview the person that will be helping you in finding the caregivers.  Creating a list of what your must haves essential are before you start interviewing.
For-profit agencies:
There are many benefits of going with an agency.  Those include:
1.   if one care giver does not workout they do the heavy lifting for finding you a new one,
2.  the caregivers have insurance,
3.  they have been through background checks,
4.  they will generally be trained on basics of caregiving.
However, agencies will be more expensive, as they normally have a surcharge of almost over 75%-100% or more over what they pay the caregivers.  They also have standards and guidelines on what type of care they will or will not provide.  In USA, at a minimum rate of $20/hr for 365 days/year and 24 hrs/day, one is looking at $175,000/year.  Most people cannot afford 24 hour care.  Many hire part time paid caregivers and compliment the rest of the day or night with friends or family.
Local For-Profit: Most cities have local agencies that cover a small defined service area.  There are good ones and not so good ones.  You will have to interview a few to figure out who you like.
National Franchise agencies: There are franchise owners that have a territory that they cover.  Some have guidelines and standards, that they adhere to, you may want to ask them.
Online caregiver sites: These will provide vetted professional caregivers that charge lower rates than the other two.  However, these caregivers may not have insurance and if one does not workout then you have to go through the screening process of finding someone else.

Non-profit agencies:
The care recipient has to meet the financial threshold for that agency.  If it is round the clock care, you generally have to look at supplementing with other options or friends and family.
Specific care only: There are non-profits that help with specific things, such as meals and transportation.  Such as meals on wheels.
Religious organizations: There are religion based non-profits like Jewish family services.  They provide services to people from any religious background. They may have limited set of services they provide.
General Care: There are some non-profits that can provide respite care or care a few hours a day.  Some of these use volunteers to provide care that may include; transportation, grocery shopping, paying bills etc.
Local or national government programs:
The care recipient has to meet the financial threshold for that agency.  They will probably send someone to do an evaluation of the caregiver needs.  Then decide how many hours a care recipient is eligible for government funded care.  The number of hours they provide will probably be based on specific chores and personal care that the care recipient is unable to do.  It will be rare to find a government funding 24 hour care at home for an extended period of time.  As an example the Area Agency on Aging in San Diego, will do an assessment and then provide a list of approved care givers, that they pay directly, based on a time card that both a care recipient and care giver sign weekly.
Individuals:
The benefit of this approach is you could get lucky and find someone that is willing to work for a little over the minimum wage rate, willing to do a room and board exchange for part of the services and be more flexible in tasks you need done.  The trade off is you have to do screening, background check, take care of insurance and if they quit, finding someone else quickly can be really challenge.
Referrals: The easiest way is to get a referral from friend, family, neighbors, hospice team, doctor, hospital etc.
Online-ads: You can also put online ads with local religious organizations, Nextdoor, Craigslist.  You are taking on the burden of screening, background check, insurance, turn-over, etc.  However, these will be generally a lot cheaper.
Off-line ads: You can also take out paper ads in local newspaper and local news letters.

The first step towards hiring a professional caregiver is knowing what you are looking, such as personality type, how many hours a day, what you can afford, and the must have skills.

Checklist for hiring a professional caregiver:
Understands responsibilities
Understands boundaries
Understands limitations
Is professional
Is punctual
Is observant
Good communication skills
Good listening skills
Good sense of humor
Takes pride in their job
Takes safety precautions

Do Research

REFERENCE WEBSITES

Care.com has a guide for the hiring process.  The guide provide helpful tips for the process of hiring a caregiver.

Caring.com has a list of 10 things to discuss with a new caregiver.  This is a good starter list that you can modify for making sure you have covered your basis with a new caregiver.  

Family Caregiver Alliance has a state-by-state list of resources for family caregivers.  This comprehensive list includes contacts and websites for non-profits and government resources in each state in USA.  They also have a must read Hiring in-home help publication

Next Avenue has an article on Learn about signs indicating your parents need for extra help.

FIND A PROVIDER NEAR YOU

For-profit:

Care.com to find a caregiver online

Non-Profit:

Dial 211 from your phone in USA.  In most major cities you can talk to someone 7x24, who can provide you a list of local agencies.

Individual:

Nextdoor is private social network for your neighborhood and it has a classified section where you can place an ad.

Craigslist.com can be used for posting local on-line classified ads in many cities.

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Angel Westerman, CEO DependableDaughter
On Twitter @WhySpike & LinkedIn

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On Twitter @WhySpike & LinkedIn

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