Are you thinking of hiring your own help for an elder who lives alone? Here are a few things to know before you hire:


1. Background Checks. Make sure you do a background check on the person before hiring them. It’s important to know as much about this person as you can–prior to them working for you. ACM Care also recommends a credit check and driving record. If they don’t manage their own life well, how well will they manage your loved one?
2. Personality Matches. While not common, these can provide valuable insight to how a person manages challenges and gets their work done. If this person is going to be with your loved one for extended periods of time, complimentary personalities will be important to the working relationship. Some common interests can be helpful also.
3. Liability. When you do hire an independent person, according to the Labor Department you automatically become an employer if you are dictating work hours and work tasks. You may also be liable for employment taxes, on-the-job injuries, and/or benefits such as minimum wage and overtime laws.
4. Theft, Mistreatment, and Fraudulent activities. The In-home care industry is an easy target for people wanting to take advantage of your loved one. Background checks help but don’t solve all problems. Staying involved, or hiring a care manager to oversee the care is a deterrent and a necessity. The more involved you are, the less chance there will be opportunity for abuse.
5. Training. Training new caregivers will be an ongoing responsibility. Most seniors are not interested in training or supervising their in-home care provider—making it difficult for them to raise problems with the care. Making a daily checklist for the caregiver can help with this, or having them provide a daily report.
6. Supervision. We cannot stress the importance of checking in on your loved one and the caregiver on a regular basis including unannounced visits. You will have to take on the role of scheduler, supervisor, trainer, and the HR department. Hiring independent help can lessen the burden, but it does not completely take it away. You still need to keep tabs on what is going on.

Have more questions about hiring independent help or need RN oversight? Please call us at 877.323.5916.