Hiring help yourself

Submitted on Thursday August 28th, 2014

Hiring someone to help with caregiving can be a great relief. If you do it without an agency, however, it makes you an employer. Are you ready for the responsibilities?

Verify knowledge, experience, and work habits. Your vulnerable loved one will be dependent on this employee. Ask for verification of training or classes taken. Talk to prior employers. Do not accept written references in lieu of a conversation.

Conduct a background check/drug screening. A formal background check can tell you if a person has a history of elder abuse. Or run-ins with the law. You will also want to arrange for an initial drug test.

Think about timesheets. Your loved one may not be able to track an attendant’s hours. You will need a time-keeping system. Perhaps the employee can call you from your relative’s phone when arriving and before leaving. Then you can be the one to record the hours.

Be prepared for quick fill ins. Unless you can personally drop everything and fill in on a moment's notice, you’ll need a back-up plan for when the care attendant is sick, has car trouble, etc.

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