What Questions Should I Ask When Hiring A Home Health Aide/Caregiver?

by | Aug 22, 2022 | Blog

So you’re thinking about getting some help with your elderly relative. You are tired, stressed and you need some assistance because you can’t do it all by yourself and you want someone who knows what they are doing. Yet you have no idea where to start.

Hiring a Caregiver can be a daunting task as there are so many implications if you get it wrong. Can they get the job done? What if your relative gets hurt by them? What if they steal from you. So many “What if’s” can be scary.

Breathe, I’ve got you.

First, you need to know the goals that your relative’s health care team is aiming for. What are the specific instructions, if any, of your elderly relative’s doctors/physiotherapists/occupational therapy specialists, etc? Write them down so when the caregiver does start, you can let them know what needs to be done.

Next, you should ALWAYS do an interview. Have a witness with you if you feel uncomfortable, but there is no way you can hire someone without an interview. Technology allows us now to keep it virtual so you do not feel as if you have to hire that person just because they spent money to come to your interview.

So, what questions to ask? Here are some tips:

Ask about Qualifications

Find out if they are certified in PATIENT CARE, where they did the course, and how long ago it was done. Someone who hasn’t studied in over 10 years may not be up to date with the latest in health care.

Any Experience

Ask how many years of experience they have in SPECIFICALLY working in the HOME CARE INDUSTRY. Some may work other odd jobs and quote their total work experience, so you want to be specific. Also, ask if they have any experience working in a public hospital. That means they worked alongside doctors and nurses and may be better equipped to handle complicated situations.

Skill Level

You want to find out if they have any experience working with special cases – Alzheimer’s patients, Stroke, Parkinson’s or bedridden clients, etc. These persons need extra care and increase the skill level of the caregiver who cared for them.

Culinary Skills

Ask them if they know how to cook special diets such as Low Salt or Diabetic meals. If your relative’s dietitian leaves a diet plan, you want to ensure the caregiver can execute it as instructed.

Critical Thinking

Think of a made-up scenario that may be practical but detrimental if your relative experienced it, such as a fall. Describe the scenario for them and ask them what they would do. Pay attention to their body language and listen to make sure they secure the client, render first aid, and call the ambulance as well as inform a relative. It is important to hire someone who not only is responsible but they won’t hide information from you thinking that they may get in trouble.

Emotional Intelligence

Ask open-ended questions that reveal their “soft skills”. You want someone who is not only competent but caring as well. Think of questions that reveal their ability to know themselves and react under stress.

Write down your questions, and then think about suitable answers for these questions. You can have your relative’s doctor look them over if you’re not feeling confident about them. It is important to write the answers down so you can have a quick reference while doing the interview, which will give you time to pay close attention to their responses. Always make notes of their responses on a separate page.

In addition, you should get at least TWO references of past clients of theirs, and call them to get information on how that caregiver performed on their last job. Be sure to ask about attendance and punctuality, temperament, attitude, and professionalism.

Even with the best advice, some persons are still unsure of the process, especially more advanced topics like detailed background checks, paying mandatory fees such as N.I.S. and Health Surcharge, how to find caregivers, maintaining employee files, etc.

That’s why at Nice Us Geriatric, our team, with over 45yrs combined specialized nursing experience is well equipped to properly screen, interview, and orient our caregivers based on internationally accepted health standards. All our caregivers are certified, assessed for Emotional Intelligence, and are traceable and accountable. Every client is assigned a team of Registered Nurses and Certified Caregivers to ensure Professional Home Care is given every time.

If you ever need Professional Home Care Service, call us at 497-2439 for more information.