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What interview questions should I ask when hiring a caregiver?

Status: Open    Mar 07, 2015 - 09:36 AM


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Apr 07, 2016 - 07:25 AM

You don't mention if you are hiring someone directly, or through an agency. The implications for either require a slightly different approach. IE:

Direct Hire:
1) Insurance. Lack of liability insurance will put you at risk. For instance, if the caregiver should trip on a rug and injure themselves, you run the risk of being held liable.
2) Pay processing. If you hire someone directly, you are responsible for reporting income, social security/state/federal taxes. If they are hired as a contractor, you will want to get their tax ID number and have a written agreement that they are liable for all tax reporting themselves.
3) Background check. You should run a Felony & Misdemeanor search, as well as driving record history. You do not want to bring in a person that has a criminal background!

1) Length of time in business.
2) Proof of licensure in your state.
3) Are the staff employees or contractors? Contract workers can imply liability on your part so be clear.
4) Are employees all bonded/insured, and have they had background checks completed?

Questions regarding qualifications, recurrent training, TB tests, experience, and professional referrals should be made available. Be sure to inquire about skills/training specific to your needs as well. IE: Dementia & Alzheimer's care. And, you should always talk to more than one applicant. This will allow you to compare the level of service that each can provide. Thre's probably more that could be included, but this should provide you with a good foundation.

Good luck!

Apr 19, 2016 - 08:59 AM

First of all, it’s generally best to hire a caregiver through a homecare agency. This is safer and more reliable, as the agency is responsible for the worker. When you hire someone on your own, you are the employer and are responsible for Social Security, Medicare, and other expenses. When hiring through an agency, they are the employer and you are the customer – you will not have to incur those extra costs. The agency also conducts background checks and ensures the reliability of the caregivers. The downside, however, is not having much say in which caregiver gets assigned to you.

If you do decide to hire a caregiver on your own, some important questions include:

1. Basic information-name, address, house and cell numbers.
2. Caregiver’s flexibility in terms of hours? Will he/ she be able to adjust according to your needs and in case of emergency?
3. Training? It is important that a caregiver has basic CPR and first-aid training, and preferably formal caregiver training.
4. Caregiver’s distance from your home? If not within walking distance, does he/ she have a driver’s license or a mode of reliable transportation? If candidate does have a driver’s license, does he/ she have a clean record and dependable insurance?
5. Prior experience taking care of the elderly? Any experience with specific diagnoses? Ask for at least 2-3 references.
6. Smoker/ non-smoker?
7. Readiness to submit to a background check?
8. Experience with meal preparation/ bathing/ other basic living needs.
9. Willingness to sign a contract stating that the caregiver will not accept any money or gifts from the person he/ she is caring for? Also, make sure to ask questions pertaining to the elderly person’s specific personal needs.



Mar 15, 2015 - 08:28 AM

In no particular order...

1. What training have you had in the caregiving profession?

2. Where have you worked previously?

3. How long have you been a caregiver or in a health-related profession?

4. How long have you worked for this particular agency?

5. Describe some of the dishes you cook (assuming that meal preparation is one of the responsibilities).

6. What are your interests when you are not working (to see if there is compatibility with the patient)?

7. Do you drive (if driving is one of the responsibilities)? A related question: do you have auto insurance or does the agency you work for insure you?)

8. How do you communicate with family members -- telephone, e-mail, text, etc.

9. If some of your responsibilities include taking the client to doctors' appointments, what do you see your role as being during these appointments (e.g., only transportation, accompanying the client in to see the doctor, taking notes, etc.)?

10. Would you describe yourself as an outgoing person who enjoys talking, a quiet person, etc. (again, to assess compatibility with the client)?

In addition to interviewing the caregiver, my experience has taught me to interview the agency as well. Questions for the agency would include:

1. How and what do you charge for your caregiving services?

2. Is yours a medical or a non-medical facility?

3. Do you have a nurse on staff?

4. What arrangements do you make to fill pill boxes? To see that prescriptions are refilled?

5. What training do you give your caregivers? Is training on-going?

6. How is communication handled between a caregiver and the agency?

7. How is communication handled between the caregiver, agency, and the client or the client's family?

8. What oversight is in place? In other words, how is a caregiver evaluated and how frequently? Is there a mechanism in place for the agency to receive feedback on the caregiver from the client or the client's family?

9. What client files does the agency keep with regard to the client's likes or dislikes?

10. How does the agency determine a match between the caregiver and the client?

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