Most families involved in the ongoing care of a senior eventually come to the point where they require additional assistance. Hiring the right caregiver can be challenging, as caring for the elderly is a labor of love that requires a special person with a specific set of qualities.  Here are six to consider:

Caring: Caregivers should possess an innate sense of selflessness and empathy, combined with a gentle spirit and a kind heart. When working with seniors, an empathetic nature and caring bedside manner are essential.

Honest/Reliable: Caregivers are placed into a highly trusted position in your home and therefore, should exhibit unshakable integrity. Although difficult to assess when you first meet someone, it is important to do your homework by speaking with references and previous employers.

Compatible: Chemistry plays a key factor in creating an effective bond between caregiver and client. When a caregiver shares a particular connection with the client, it can make tasks easier and help create a pleasant, comfortable environment.

Trained: Caregivers should be formally trained on topics, such as general and advanced caregiving, senior safety, driving safety, and Alzheimer’s training.  Providing a comprehensive ongoing training program is one of the many assets of a home care agency.

Employed by a State Licensed Agency: In addition, caregivers employed by a state licensed agency will have passed a drug screening test, and they are insured, bonded, and covered by worker’s compensation.  When hiring outside of a home care agency, you will want to put a plan in place to address these needs.

National Criminal Background Check:  It is critical that a national criminal background check be conducted on any caregivers who will be spending time with your family member in your home. (A statewide criminal background check is limited and does NOT include crimes committed in other states.)

When choosing a caregiver, it is important to consider these standards to ensure that you receive the highest quality care for your loved one.

Article written by Home Instead Senior Care.