A CDPAP caregiver‘s job comes with great responsibilities because patients rely on them for their physical, emotional, and general well-being. Ensuring that a potential hire can fulfill these obligations starts with the interview process.

With that in mind, after reading this article, you will know how to vet a reliable, efficient, and qualified caregiver for your loved one.

What is a caregiver?

A caregiver is a person who provides care and support for a sick and/or elderly patient. This includes helping them complete daily tasks and activities as well as caring for their health.

Professional caregivers work with multiple patients in clinical and residential settings. Personal caregivers, on the other hand, assist family members or friends at their home.

Both professional and personal caregivers need to show that they’re able to aid patients in a reliable way.

Qualities Needed to Be an Elderly Caregiver

The following skills and personal characteristics are required for those who want to efficiently care for an elderly person:

  • The ability to multitask and find a balance between multiple duties
  • Determination
  • Embracing acts of giving
  • Emotional intelligence and understanding
  • Patience
  • Positivity and an upbeat attitude
  • A sense of humor
  • A willingness to take the initiative

You can determine if a caregiver that you will potentially hire has these qualities during the interview process.

Questions to Ask While Interviewing an In-Home Caregiver

When you initially interview an in-home caregiver, you want to ask them some or all of the following questions to decide if they have the right attributes to provide you and/or your loved one with the needed quality of care:

  • Why are you interested in this position?
  • Tell me a little bit more about yourself.
  • Where have you worked before? Be sure to inquire about their past experience as a caregiver.
  • What were your duties? It might be helpful to compare them with what your job description entails.
  • Why did you want to become a caretaker?
  • What type of patients do you like to work with the most?
  • What are your weaknesses?
  • Do any of the tasks or requirements that are in the job description make you uncomfortable?
  • How do you deal with a patient that has memory problems, a physical disability, or anything else that pertains to the person that will be cared for? You should ask them to share an example of a similar scenario that they came across in the past.
  • What type of experience do you have with preparing meals for others?
  • If a patient is stubborn, fearful, and/or angry, how would you handle the situation?
  • Will you be using your own car or do you prefer to rely on our vehicle for transportation? You may want to request proof of auto insurance and a copy of their driver’s license.
  • Tell me more about your experience with assisting patients move from a bed or chair into a wheelchair.
  • On what days and times are you available?
  • Are you able to provide two professional references and a personal one that we can contact?

You should also ask them any other questions that apply to your position and your loved one’s condition that might help you determine if the caregiver is a right fit.

Moreover, you must not forget to obtain identification or documents that prove that the potential caregiver is eligible to work in the United States. Examples would be a U.S. passport, a birth certificate showing that they were born in the country, and immigration work authorization forms for non-U.S. citizens.

You should make a copy of these documents and save them alongside their contract and the related paperwork.

Important Elements to Include in a Contract

When you write a contract for an in-home caregiver, there are certain elements that you must incorporate. Here are some of the most significant ones:

  • A Detailed Job Description: This will help you avoid potential misunderstandings in the future and ensure that the caregiver is aware of what the position entails before they accept it.
  • Schedule and Hours: Your contract should outline the days and hours on which the caregiver will work. If the patient’s needs (and, therefore, their schedule) varies from one week to another, include that in the contract, too.
  • Pay Rate and Pay Periods: Specify how much the caregiver gets paid per hour or day. In addition, identify how often you will pay them (weekly, biweekly, or monthly).
  • Anything Agreed to in the Interview Process: Converting verbal agreements into written contract clauses minimizes the likelihood of having disagreements later down the road. It also allows you to retain your flexibility in case something important comes up in the interview that you forgot to add to the contract.

Simply put, your contract acts as a blueprint that defines your relationship with the caregiver. Furthermore, it cements what you discussed in the interview and the caregiver’s answers to your questions in a written and legally-binding document.

Above all, when you find someone that has the skills and attributes that you desire (patience, positivity, emotional intelligence, …etc.), you want to sign a detailed contract with them so that you maintain a strong and long-lasting relationship that’s based on mutual understanding and trust.