How to Select the Best Home Caregiver for an Elderly Relative
When you are preparing to hire a home caregiver to assist your loved one with managing at home, it is important to identify qualities of an effective caregiver. Sometimes when we interview or first get to know someone, personal biases affect our hiring decisions, ultimately leading to the wrong choice in picking the best home caregiver.
Behavioral interviewing is one of the most proven techniques to determine if someone really has the skills and qualities necessary for a job. It helps overcome the issue of being told what you want to hear, which is compounded by your biases. For example, as you chat with an interviewee, you learn they grew up near you or have a similar interest and veer off topic. You might end up with a “sense” that this is the best candidate, due to your comfort level and the person’s “likability”.
EasyLiving, Inc. uses specific techniques to select home caregivers for our team as follows:
- We start with a screening process in which we select home health aides with only top scores on their home health examinations (in addition to the state requirements, background checks, etc.).
- Then, we use behavioral interviewing to find out how caregivers will handle key home care situations, how they have worked in the past providing senior care or might apply previous knowledge to work as a home caregiver.
- We put each caregiver through our own comprehensive orientation and ongoing training program.
How do you conduct a home caregiver interview?
Behavioral interview questions typically begin with phrases such as… “Tell me about a time when…” or “Give me an example of when you had to…”, allowing home caregivers to demonstrate how they have handled certain situations and how they put ethics and skills in to practice when caregiving.
A behavioral interview for a home caregiver can be focused toward the specific situation of your aging parent. For example, ask the home care aide to describe a time when they have had a client who is not happy for them to be there and how they dealt with that. Or, find out about a time when they were working with a person with dementia who was asking to go home or anxious and wanting to leave. Rather than asking, “Are you generally on time?” you could ask, “Tell me about a time when you had an emergency with one client that caused you to be late for another client. How did you handle that (or would you handle that)?/What would you do first?”.
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