Hiring an In-Home Caregiver for Seniors – Key things to keep in mind (2023)

Hiring an In-Home Caregiver for Seniors – Key things to keep in mind

Hiring an In-Home Caregiver for Seniors – Key things to keep in mind (1)

Author: Sarah Keller –Sarah is the Content Marketing Strategist ofA To Z Home Care, a team of professional home care providers based in Phoenix, AZ that specializes in long-term care for your loved ones. She enjoys riding horses and camping with her friends and family in her spare time.

In-home caregivers provide assistance to seniors in need of help with their daily activities. They make life easier for elderly people who prefer to stay home and maintain their independence instead of moving into a nursing home or assisted living community.

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But while many in-home caregivers are trained or certified, they cannot be expected to perform complex health-care-related tasks like nurses and other trained medical personnel. In-home caregivers focus on helping seniors with activities of daily living, which may include full-time nursing care.

Responsibilities of an In-Home Caregiver

To maximize the benefits of homecare services, you must first have a clear understanding of the responsibilities of an in-home caregiver and the type of care they offer. Being aware of what your caregiver can and cannot do helps avoid misunderstandings and ensures that your senior loved ones are receiving adequate support to continue living independently at home.

Professional caregivers help seniors with basic tasks and may also provide specialized care, such as:
● Basic healthcare (e.g recording BP and glucometer readings)
● Support with personal hygiene and grooming
● Transferring safely from bed to wheel chair, use of bathroom and showers to minimize fall risk
● Household chores
● Preparing and cooking meals
● Bathing and using the toilet
● Medication administration and reminders
● Running errands (e.g. grocery trips)
● Help with transportation (e.g doctors appointments, dialysis visits)
● Emotional support, one on one engagement and companionship

An in-home caregiver’s responsibilities can include a few or all of the things mentioned above. It may also change depending on the needs of the patient. The first step to hiring a caregiver is to assess the level of care a senior requires, which may include everything from personal care to household maintenance to emotional support to basic healthcare.

2. Independent Caregivers vs Home Care Agency

Caregivers can be hired directly or through a private agency. Between the two, using an agency is the better choice if you need someone right away or it’s your first time to hire a caregiver and not sure how to find the right person.
Independent Caregivers

Most people hire independent home care givers directly through referrals. Although some independent caregivers are educated in medical responsibilities, most of them focus on assisting seniors with activities of daily living (ADL). Moreover, their pay may vary greatly depending on the level of education, experience, and abilities or responsibilities required.

In home care

Many seniors and their families hire caregivers through home care agencies. These are licensed businesses, and many of whom are Medicare-approved or private pay. Depending on the needs of their clients, several home care companies provide a range of services from basic, non-medical care to in-home, skilled nursing care.

(Video) CAREGIVER Interview Questions & ANSWERS! (How to PASS a CAREGIVER Interview!)

While hiring through an agency is more expensive, you may rest assured that the caregivers have been thoroughly verified and vetted. In the event that your regular caregiver becomes ill, a home care company usually has backup caregivers. Use an agency if you don’t have time to conduct interviews or are concerned that you won’t be able to employ and maintain someone on your own.

Tips for Hiring an In-Home Caregiver

1. Determine the Level of Care Needed

There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all approach to home care. In-home caregivers offer a variety of services, depending on the needs of the family they are working with. Spend some time figuring out what exactly your loved one will be needing assistance with. The more detailed and specific the list of support needs, the better the match with a caregiver will be.
There are elders who merely need help with domestic chores like cooking and cleaning, while others may require assistance with ADLs like getting out of bed, transfers, dressing, or bathing, 1-1 engagement to slow progression of disease, rehab exercises as part of stroke recovery, and other more advanced needs. Alternatively, you may be on the lookout for someone who is capable of administering or reminding on prescriptions, tending to wounds, or providing treatments or dementia care.

2. Evaluate Your Budget

In-home care can be expensive depending on how much assistance your loved one requires. Thus, it’s a good idea to assess your budget before taking any steps further, so that you aren’t surprised by additional expenses. If you budget carefully and thoughtfully across your available sources of funding, this will make for a stable and well managed care model.

Look at all your options, including your private pay budget, Medicare, Medicaid options available, and any other insurance your family member may have. You may also want to check if they qualify for financial assistance, in part or full. Most states have in-home assistance programs for low-income seniors who do not qualify for Medicaid.

3. Discuss the Plan of Care with your home care company and caregiver

Your in-home care provider should be guided by a care plan that specifies what is and is not expected of them. By clearly outlining parameters, a care plan protects both the caregiver and the person they are caring for.

When creating your care plan, make sure to include:

● All essential information about the individual being cared for (including medical information, emergency contacts, and daily habits)
● A detailed description of the tasks that must be completed on a regular basis
● Objectives for the person who is receiving care (these might include eating better, going on a daily walk, more engagement with others, or other goals to improve quality of life)

Review the entire care plan with the caregiver before starting with them for in-home care support and make sure to address any questions or concerns they may have.

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4. Ask for Credentials and References

When hiring home care professionals, education and certifications are just as significant as previous work experience and character. While caregivers with higher qualifications command higher fees, they bring a higher degree of knowledge and competence to the work. Some tasks that certified Caregivers are qualified to do may not be available to non certified Caregivers.

Moreover, you should still run background checks, even if the person you interviewed seemed perfect. It’s important to examine references before making a decision to see if there are any red flags. Good quality home care companies will welcome you asking them for references.

5. Have a Back-up Plan

You count on your care givers to do a good job taking care of your loved one, But what happens if he or she becomes ill, takes a vacation, or is otherwise unable to help you? You must plan ahead of time for what you will do in their absence.

If you use a good quality home care agency, they will handle this for you and always plan ahead with backups and redundancies. Agencies usually have a pool of workers they can call in an emergency. However, if you’ve hired independently, you’ll need to make a backup plan with your family and agree on what to do/who is responsible if something unexpected happens.

6. Stay Involved and detail oriented

Effective communication is essential to keeping a healthy working relationship with your in-home caregiver and to ensuring that your senior family member’s needs are met. Schedule for regular meetings with the caregiver, so both of you can have the opportunity to discuss any questions or concerns you might have.

Most importantly, make sure to ask your loved one how they feel about the home care service and if they’re satisfied with the caregiver’s work. Don’t forget to check in regularly to see how things are going and if their needs are being addressed.

Do you live in Dallas Fort Worth area?

Care Mountain provides award-winning in-home care. We are a high quality home health care provider with 16 years of experience providing personalized care for 3,000+ DFW families and have high quality, experienced caregivers available to support you and your loved ones needs.
Give us a call to discuss your needs.

(Video) Hiring In-Home Care: What Consumers Need to Know

(Video) Key Things to Know Before Hiring Senior In Home Care


What are the 5 important traits that a caregiver must have? ›

Here are some of the best traits that every caregiver should have:
  • Patience. Those who provide home care to others need to be patient. ...
  • Compassion. When someone has compassion for another they have an understanding of what the person is going through.
  • Attentiveness. ...
  • Dependability. ...
  • Trustworthiness.

What are some challenges that a caregiver may face when having to take care of aging parents? ›

Some of these challenges a family caregiver faces are:
  • Managing their time. Caregivers often find they have less time for themselves and other family members. ...
  • Emotional and physical stress. ...
  • Lack of privacy. ...
  • Financial strain. ...
  • Sleep deprivation. ...
  • Being afraid to ask for help. ...
  • Depression and isolation.

What is the most essential task of a caregiver? ›

Top 10 Duties and Responsibilities of a Senior Caregiver
  • Assess medical needs. Checking on your senior loved one's health is an important caregiver responsibility. ...
  • Prepare a care plan. ...
  • Assist with basic needs. ...
  • Provide companionship. ...
  • Help with housekeeping. ...
  • Monitor medications. ...
  • Assess your care plan regularly. ...
  • Prepare meals.
5 Nov 2020

Who is responsible for most caregiving to elderly? ›

Do you know what your legal responsibility is to them? Currently, 28 states have laws called filial responsibility laws, requiring adult children to support their aging parents. In addition, a bill passed in 2005 may place a heavier burden of taking care of parents' nursing home bills on adult children.

What a caregiver should not do? ›

What Are Unlicensed Caregivers NOT ALLOWED To Do?
  • Give medications of any kind.
  • Mix medications for clients or fill their daily med minder box.
  • Give advice about medications.
  • Perform a medical assessment.
  • Provide medical care.
8 Jan 2019

What are the 3 most important qualities of a good carer? ›

5 Qualities That Make a Good Carer
  • Being Passionate about their Job. A good carer is passionate about the care they provide and the needs of the people they care for. ...
  • Empathy and Patience. ...
  • Being Positive and Encouraging. ...
  • Reliable and Respectful of Choices. ...
  • Being Observant with Excellent Communication Skills.
12 Jan 2022

What are 3 signs of caregiver stress? ›

Signs of caregiver stress
  • Feeling overwhelmed or constantly worried.
  • Feeling tired often.
  • Getting too much sleep or not enough sleep.
  • Gaining or losing weight.
  • Becoming easily irritated or angry.
  • Losing interest in activities you used to enjoy.
  • Feeling sad.
  • Having frequent headaches, bodily pain or other physical problems.

What are the 2 common stresses as caregiver? ›

Studies show that 30 to 40% of dementia caregiver suffer from both depression and emotional stress. Caregivers report that they are stressed and frustrated. 16% of caregivers are emotionally strained, while 26% state that taking care of their loved one is had on them emotionally.

What are the 5 different types of hazards that a caregiver can encounter? ›

Risk of exposure infectious diseases if working in close contact with infected individuals or in areas where infected individuals live or visit. Exposure to chemicals in household cleaning products. Exposure to soiled linen. Working in awkward postures or performing repetitive tasks.

What are the 3 major job of a caregiver? ›

Assisting with personal care: bathing and grooming, dressing, toileting, and exercise. Basic food preparation: preparing meals, shopping, housekeeping, laundry, and other errands. General health care: overseeing medication and prescriptions usage, appointment reminders and administering medicine.

What are the 10 principles of caregiving? ›

10 Principles of Caregiving
  • Principle 1: Involve the infants and toddlers in the things that concern them. ...
  • Principle 2: Spend quality time. ...
  • Principle 3: Learn each child's unique ways of communicating and teach them yours. ...
  • Principle 4: Invest the time and energy needed to build a total person.

What are six personal qualities that effective caregivers have? ›

11 Essential Traits to Being a Caregiver
  • Patience. When dealing with the elderly, it is essential for a caregiver to be patient. ...
  • Dependability. When the wellbeing of an elderly individual depends on your presence, you need to be there. ...
  • Confidence. ...
  • Attentiveness. ...
  • Trustworthiness. ...
  • Supportive. ...
  • Compassionate. ...
  • Creative.
29 Jan 2018

What are 4 types of caregivers? ›

Are you looking for a caregiver? Then you should know your options. In general, there are four types of caregivers: Home Health Care, Assisted Living Facilities, Nursing Homes, and Adult Daycare Centers.

What are the major problems experienced by the caregivers of the elderly? ›

Emotional and physical stress: Studies have confirmed that family caregivers have higher levels of stress, anxiety, depression and other mental health challenges compared to those who don't do companion care. A loss of self-identity: Caregivers feel like they have less control over their own lives.

How much do elderly caregivers get paid? ›

Elderly Caregiver Salary

Elderly caregivers make $37,109 per year on average, or $17.84 per hour, in the United States. Elderly caregivers on the lower end of that spectrum, the bottom 10% to be exact, make roughly $23,000 a year, while the top 10% makes $59,000.

What is the most challenging caregiver? ›

The 4 Most Challenging Caregiver Situations
  1. Taking care of "bathroom issues" Incontinence and trouble with toileting are common among the elderly. ...
  2. Giving mom or dad a bath. People differ greatly in their acceptance of needed help. ...
  3. Dining in a restaurant with disabilities. ...
  4. Going out in public.

What are the rules of caregiver? ›

7 Rules of Job Etiquette for Caregivers
  • Prioritize good communication. This is perhaps the most important rule, because it touches every area of the work you will do. ...
  • Be punctual. ...
  • Take notes & use a calendar. ...
  • Be positive. ...
  • Clean up after yourself. ...
  • Establish a set of daily rules & follow them consistently. ...
  • Be respectful.
25 Feb 2022

What questions should you ask a caregiver? ›

8 Questions to Ask When Interviewing a Professional Caregiver
  • What made you become a professional caregiver? ...
  • Do you specialize in what's ailing my loved one? ...
  • Are you quiet or talkative? ...
  • What kind of hobbies do you have? ...
  • How often will you evaluate and update a written care plan?

What makes a good care assistant for the elderly? ›

A good Care Assistant will have a positive energy about them. They will walk into a room with a smile on their face and radiate a can-do attitude. A positive attitude will help put your service users at ease - as well as helping you, the carer, feel more confident in what you are doing.

What makes a good senior support worker? ›

Communication skills help you communicate clearly to clients, families and other workers. empathy and interpersonal skills: a senior support worker needs teamwork skills to collaborate with others and provide the best care. Empathy also helps you connect with patients and provide emotional support.

Can you name 5 key duties of a care assistant support worker? ›

Care Assistants frequently check up on patients to monitor their vital signs, help them move from place to place, deliver meals, feed patients, help them use the toilet and bathe. They communicate with patients about their symptoms and needs, reporting changes or concerns to other members of the patient's care team.

What are 2 things caregiver burnout may lead to? ›

Caregivers who are "burned out" may experience fatigue, stress, anxiety and depression.

What do caregivers worry about? ›

Many caregivers report they neglect their own health, such as booking personal health appointments, skipping meals or eating a poor diet, not getting enough sleep, smoking, abusing substances, and not tending to psychological or emotional distress.

What knowledge do caregivers need? ›

Caregivers need to perform complex medical tasks, supervise patients, make decisions, solve problems, provide emotional support and comfort, and coordinate care.

What is the most burdensome cases of caregiving? ›

An abundance of research notes that family caregivers experience a significant burden in providing care to patients with specific illness such as mental health illness [5], parkinson disease [6], dementia [7] and terminal cancer [8].

When Should a caregiver give up? ›

Signs such as avoiding the loved one, anger, fatigue, depression, impaired sleep, poor health, irritability or that terrible sense that there is “no light at the end of the tunnel” are warnings that the caregiver needs time off and support with caregiving responsibilities.

How do we ensure safety in working as a caregiver? ›

Download PDF checklist on Home Safety.
  • Improve the lighting. Make sure all areas in the home are properly lit. ...
  • Check floors and furniture. Move items to make it easier to reach them. ...
  • Make your kitchen safer. ...
  • Set up a medical-response system. ...
  • Prevent accidents in the bathroom and toilet. ...
  • Keep emergency numbers at hand.

What are the 7 types of hazards in the home? ›

Hazards in the home
  • Fire. Fires at home can be highly dangerous, not only to your property but also to you and the people you live with. ...
  • Poisoning. Several household items present poisoning risks, such as cleaning and maintenance supplies, medications and petrol. ...
  • Allergies. ...
  • Water. ...
  • Falls. ...
  • Choking. ...
  • Cuts. ...
  • Burns.

What is considered light housekeeping for a caregiver? ›

Light housekeeping includes tasks such as dusting open surfaces; sweeping and mopping floors (damp mops – small areas and hard surface floors); vacuuming around furniture; wiping down counters; washing and putting dishes away; cleaning bathrooms and kitchens; taking out the trash; changing sheets and making the bed; ...

What do caregivers do at night? ›

The compassionate care provided by an overnight caregiver revolves around a multitude of services commonly provided at night. Examples of care include help using the restroom in the middle of the night, providing fluids and snacks in the evening and assisting with preparing for bed.

What are the 5 core principles of care? ›

The Standards are built upon five principles; dignity and respect, compassion, be included, responsive care and support and wellbeing.

What are the 5 High Five principles? ›

The training uses the five principles of HIGH FIVE—Caring Leader, Participation, Mastery, Play, and Friends—to address these barriers and encourage lasting participation in sports.

What are the 5 basic principles? ›

  • Popular sovereignty.
  • Limited government.
  • Separation of powers.
  • Checks and balances.
  • Federalism.

What are the 6 caring elements? ›

The 6Cs – care, compassion, courage, communication, commitment and competence – are the central set of values of the Compassion in Practice strategy, which was drawn up by NHS England Chief Nursing Officer Jane Cummings and launched in December 2012.

What is the difference between a caretaker and caregiver? ›

A caregiver refers to someone who directly cares for the elderly, children, or people with serious illnesses. On the other hand, a caretaker's job is broader, such as being employed to take care of the house or land while the owner is away and someone who provides physical or emotional care and support.

What is the biggest concern for the elderly today? ›

Some of the most prominent concerns facing seniors today include healthcare costs, physical aging, financial security, and more. These issues become more difficult to deal with as patients age, but there are ways we can help seniors through these concerns.

What are the five challenges of home nursing? ›

These include: environmental hazards such as infection control, sanitation, and physical layout; challenges with caregiver communications and handoffs; lack of education and training for patients and family caregivers; the difficulty of balancing patient autonomy and risk; the different needs of patients receiving home ...

How much do private caregivers make per hour? ›

The average hourly wage for a Private Duty Caregiver in the United States is $21 as of September 26, 2022, but the salary range typically falls between $19 and $23.

Who pays the most for Caregiver? ›

State-by-state caregiver compensation comparison
RankStateAll occupations annual mean wage
1North Dakota$52,450
3South Dakota$44,960
41 more rows

How many hours does Caregiver work a day? ›

Therefore you will need to pay your caregiver for 40 regular hours and 8 overtime hours. Your loved one needs 24/7 care, which requires you to hire a live-in caregiver. They work about 12 hours per day so their paycheck is calculated based on 84 hours per week.

› who-are-caregivers- ›

Types of Caregivers

https://www.griswoldhomecare.com › who-are-caregivers-
https://www.griswoldhomecare.com › who-are-caregivers-
A family caregiver is a relative who provides emotional, financial, nursing, social, homemaking, and other services on a daily or intermittent basis for an ill ...

What Is a Caregiver?

https://www.caringseniorservice.com › blog › what-is-a-ca...
https://www.caringseniorservice.com › blog › what-is-a-ca...
"Caregiver" or "caretaker" refers to anyone who provides care for another person. There are different types of caregivers that provide speci...
Carer; Caretaker; Health Professional; Medical Assistant; Medical Man; Primary Care Provider; Nurse; Medical Practitioner; Health Care Provider. Caregiver Used ...

What are the 5 types of caregivers? ›

The most common type of caregiver is the family caregiver: someone who takes care of a family member without pay. The other types are professional, independent, private, informal, and volunteer caregivers.

What are the desirable traits that a caregiver must have and why? ›

a good caregiver is patient and flexible.

Patience and flexibility are qualities that every person in the caregiving industry must possess. There'll be many hurdles along the way–the patient is being stubborn and uncooperative, the schedule doesn't go as planned, or difficult situations arise.

What unique skills or traits should the caregiver have? ›

Empathy, patience, kindness and respect. An understanding of different clients' needs. Communication skills necessary to interact with a variety of clients and their families. Ability to effectively manage the demands of the job.

What are the 3 major jobs of a caregiver? ›

Assisting with personal care: bathing and grooming, dressing, toileting, and exercise. Basic food preparation: preparing meals, shopping, housekeeping, laundry, and other errands. General health care: overseeing medication and prescriptions usage, appointment reminders and administering medicine.

What are the 2 common stresses as caregiver? ›

Studies show that 30 to 40% of dementia caregiver suffer from both depression and emotional stress. Caregivers report that they are stressed and frustrated. 16% of caregivers are emotionally strained, while 26% state that taking care of their loved one is had on them emotionally.

What are the rules of a caregiver? ›

Some Golden Rules of Caregiving
  • Identify yourself as a caregiver. A caregiver is anyone who provides unpaid care for someone who is ill, frail or disabled. ...
  • Know your right to benefits. ...
  • If you feel you need help, ask. ...
  • Tell your doctor. ...
  • Take breaks. ...
  • Eat well. ...
  • Get adequate sleep. ...
  • Get a hobby.

What are 4 types of caregivers? ›

Are you looking for a caregiver? Then you should know your options. In general, there are four types of caregivers: Home Health Care, Assisted Living Facilities, Nursing Homes, and Adult Daycare Centers.

What knowledge and skills do caregivers need? ›

Caregivers need to perform complex medical tasks, supervise patients, make decisions, solve problems, provide emotional support and comfort, and coordinate care.

What 3 skills are most essential for dealing with clients who have dementia? ›

Encouraging someone with dementia to communicate

speak clearly and slowly, using short sentences. make eye contact with the person when they're talking or asking questions. give them time to respond, because they may feel pressured if you try to speed up their answers.

What is the best skill during aging process as caregiver? ›

Patience. Patience while caregiving means you have to slow down and rethink what you are doing at the present moment. It means you have to think about the best way to communicate with a senior without being condescending. Patience is one of the best skills anyone can have, regardless of their occupation.

What is the saddest experience as a caregiver? ›

10 Most Common Emotions Caregivers Experience
  • Sadness. Having a family member who is too sick to care for him or herself can be an upsetting situation. ...
  • Grumpiness. Caregiving can make a person feel exhausted, stressed out, grumpy, and irritable. ...
  • Embarrassment. ...
  • Anger. ...
  • Guilt. ...
  • Boredom.
9 Nov 2017

What are the 5 C's of caring? ›

According to Roach (1993), who developed the Five Cs (Compassion, Competence, Confidence, Conscience and Commitment), knowledge, skills and experience make caring unique.

What do you do when an elderly person refuses to shower? ›

5 Ways to Address a Senior's Parent's Refusal to Bathe
  1. Approach the Issue with Compassion. ...
  2. Understand the Most Common Reasons Seniors Stop Bathing. ...
  3. Address the Fear of Falling. ...
  4. Consider Physical Challenges. ...
  5. Provide a Reason to Get Dressed Up.
21 Aug 2020

› Blog ›

Caregivers do more than just look after their patients and attend to their needs. They nurture, and foster a bond that makes them almost a part of the family. S...
Around the country there are millions of people who serve as caregivers. We explore some of the characteristics that are important for a caregiver to have.
Many elderly people do not want to inconvenience their friends and family members, which is why it's important for caregivers to be attentive. This is even ...


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