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6 Easy Steps to Find and Hire a Caregiver in the US

6 Easy Steps to Find and Hire a Caregiver in the US

Aside from traditional way of finding care, there’s a new, techy, and most convenient way of finding and hiring caregivers you can trust

Most of us hesitate to get a caregiver, but our need for them is often heavier than having none. How will you know if the home health aide can be trusted? How will you know if the person who applied is very fit for the job? How will you know if they have the enough patience to stay longer taking care of you or your loved ones?

These uncertainties are normal. Hiring an in-home caregiver is often nerve-wracking. Yet knowing where and how to find and hire one can help you overcome indecisiveness about getting private care.

The following steps on finding and hiring a caregiver in the US will help you address your concerns and guide you when you’re in the process of getting a home health aide or a private caregiver for you or your loved ones in need.

STEP #1 Where to Find Caregivers

1. Traditional Way of Finding Caregivers

The most common way of finding and hiring personal caregivers is a home care agency. Although hiring from agencies may be expensive, they do almost all the bureaucratic work for you such as covering payroll taxes, background checks and other legal consequences of employing a home health aide.

Referral is also another way most people find care and also the most taxing.

When looking for a caregiver, you have to do all the work by asking everyone you know if they know someone who may be up for the job.  And If you get someone based on word of mouth, often, you’ll be sure that the recommendations from your friends are trustable and accurate. Most importantly, get referrals from people from the medical community such as doctors and social workers.

Usually, hiring private caregivers through referrals is cost efficient for both the caregiver and the employer.

You can also post your search for a caregiver in classified ads in newspapers. Also, you can try searching through online job sites and forums such as Craigslist, Indeed and other job engine sites.

2. CareJOY, the new and easiest way to find care

Breaking the conventions while catering to the increasing demand for caregivers, CareJOY was created to connect those who want to give care to those who need it and vice versa. By far, it is the first, the easiest and the safest way to find and hire a caregiver in the US, online. Like matching dating sites and freelance market apps wrapped into one, the advanced algorithm of the CareJOY site and app makes finding caregivers an easy feat. Hiring a caregiver with CareJOY is as easy as “making a friend in kindergarten.”

To solve your hesitations of finding a random stranger as a personal caregiver, CareJOY ensures the one you find and hire suits your needs, personality, and budget. Their search functionality uses data science to pick home health aides, nurses, and caregivers based on their skills, preferences, and personality, helping you find the right match for you.

It is also cost efficient, as using their services is free both for families looking for care and caregiver finding work. Just sign up, post a listing or search for care providers at no cost. The rate is also less expensive than the traditional home care agencies charging two times more while giving only half of the pay to their caregiver workers. Depending on the level of care and location needed by the patient, the rate can range from as low as $10 to $25 per hour.


STEP #2 Assess Your Condition

Once you’ve decided where to find caregivers, do not make a call yet. Instead, make a detailed list of the jobs the personal caregiver must handle. You can also jot down what you expect in hiring one. Is the level of work part time or fulltime? Do they need to stay at home 24/7 or can they go home after 5 in the afternoon? If the job only requires them to be at home three days a week, it means that your job post is for a part time work. Here are some points you need to assess when finding a caregiver:

- Duties the caregiver should perform and the frequency.  For example, caregivers should do some weekly housekeeping, driving the patient to his doctor’s appointment or helping the patient bathe every morning).

- Types of specialized care. If your loved ones have incontinence, renal urological disorder, or dementia, caregivers with special skills are required.

- In home or Live out?

- Language. Can you hire someone who speaks dual language such as Spanish-English or you need someone who’s a native speaker?

- Gender. Are your loved ones more comfortable around girls, guys or LGBTQ?

- Qualities you’re looking for in a care giver. Personal caregivers, since they would be living inside your homes for many hours a day and days in a week should entail the characteristics of someone who you can trust. Listing the qualities that can make you and your loved one’s safe and feel comfortable towards an in-home caregiver is a must. Some qualities they should have are patience, perseverance, kind, and with a sense of humor.

- List your loved ones’ bug bears or irritations that the caregiver should prepare to face. Does he or she like to take long strolls every morning? Does she hate and get easily frustrated with messiness and disorder? Does he or she have fits whenever he or she sees someone smoking? Does he or she have allergies to perfumes? Give this list of pet peeves to your candidates so they can prepare.


STEP # 3 Screening Candidates

The traditional way of getting private caregivers will entail you to look for contacts, make some calls, schedule interviews, talk to caregivers personally, and sift through your candidates. This can take weeks or months to find the right one. If you do not have time to do this, you can settle for home care agencies to do this for you. But expect the hourly pay to be expensive.

With CareJOY’s friendly interface, your listings can be detailed by just adding your preferences, special care needs, language, services, gender, schedule and referred shifts. Once you’ve posted the details of your listing, caregivers that match up to your entered preferences, needs and schedules will pop up before you. You can just message some of them for additional interviews or hire them on the spot.

At the same time, caregivers who are looking for work can decide if they are up for your job listing and just click apply. Their professional resumes will be sent to you complete with background checks and their job experience.


STEP #4 Background Checks

Doing a background check on caregiver candidates is important. You should ask prospective caregivers to give you a copy of their DMV records, credit reports, and searching county, state and/or federal criminal records.

In the traditional way of finding a caregiver, employers should get the caregiver’s written consent so you can do a background check. You must hire a private investigator for you to do this. Their rates can range from $70-300 an hour. You can also try online companies that do background checks because they are cheaper. If it’s too taxing for you to do personally set this up, home care agencies automatically do background checks on all their employees.

CareJOY does a level of background checking on all the caregivers applying to give care. They make candidates undergo four background checks namely, the National Criminal Database, SSN Identity Verification, Felony and Misdemeanor Court and National Sex Offenders. If these are not enough for you, you can always pay private caregivers to do the more detailed checks.


STEP #5 Interview

During the interview, whether it is set in the traditional or CareJOY way, be sure to avoid being discriminatory towards future employees. Your screening process should be devoid of discriminatory policies. Based on the Fair Credit Reporting Act, you should ask for written permission before getting a prospective employee’s credit report.

Here are some helpful talking points and questions you must ask caregivers applying for your job listing. How long have you worked as a caregiver?

- Can you tell me a little bit about your work experience?

- What can you say about your previous jobs and your likes and dislikes about it? Can you tell me about your specialized training?

- What can you say about the list of duties and patient’s special care needs? Can you handle everything in the list of patient’s nuances and irritations?

- Can you think of possible activities appropriate for the patient?

- If ever your patient becomes combative and irritable, how will you deal with the situation?

- Based on your experience, what makes you happy while at work?

While conducting the interview, make it be known to interviewees the details of the job. Some concerns include:

- List and characteristics of people the caregiver will eventually interact with. These are the people who may sometimes visit your loved one. Caregivers should know them so they won’t be surprised when they do a social call.

- Visitor policies. Is your in-home caregiver allowed to have visitors or not?

- Salary and benefits. Schedule of payment. Is it weekly, bimonthly or monthly? Discuss a payment system that both parties can agree with.   

- Are they allowed vacations and holiday pay?

- Your regulations for petty cash. Sometimes, you need to leave a little money for household expenses that may arise every week. You can also reimburse the caregiver for expenses they spent. Just ask for receipts as proofs of payment.


STEP #6 Hire one

Once you’ve picked the right candidate either through the traditional method or the CareJOY way, you need to leave instructions for the caregiver to follow.

Discuss and give the hired one a Cheat Sheet which includes the details of the care recipient, home and emergency protocols and special care needs. Here are some instructions and details that need to be on your cheat list:

Details of your loved ones receiving care

- Signs when he or she needs to be rushed to the hospital

- Behavioral issues and ways to address them

- Preferences or likes and dislikes

- Characteristics

- Diet and eating restrictions

- Mobility problems

- Medical condition and illness

- Medication list and intake schedule

-Exercises and schedule of therapies

Home details that the caregiver needs to have access

- Own room or space for in-home caregivers

- Keys to accessible areas of the house

- Security precautions, emergency exits

- Medical supplies

- Kitchen for food, appliances and cooking tools

- Room where the cleaning and washing supplies are

- Emergency Kits. Where flash lights, fuse box, candles and extra light bulbs are.

- Cabinet or room for extra clothes or linen

Contacts numbers and address in case of emergencies:

- List of names and numbers of guardians, adult children and the one in charge of the care recipient

- List of names and numbers of doctors, clinics, hospitals, etc.

- List of contact for house matters (repairmen, cable, carpenter, pest experts, etc.)

Always remember, live-in or in-home personal caregivers are people. They should be provided a private space to be comfortable for a while doing their jobs. Make their shifts and working hours reasonable as they too need to have some personal time alone to do the things they love.  As caregiving is a very stressful job, giving them time for themselves will keep their work performance balanced. By treating the caregivers caring for your loved ones with respect and kindness, you can be sure that they will treat their care recipient the same.

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