How to Choose a Private-Duty Caregiver

Older man with caregiver.
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Choosing a caregiver for yourself or a loved one can seem overwhelming.

Here are questions to ask and points to follow when choosing a private-duty caregiver:

1.  Do you need hands-on care? Help around your home? Companionship?

  • If you need hands on care you want to make sure that you find an agency which hires only Home Health Aides or Certified Nurses Aides. These people have specific training to properly and effectively care for people.
  • If you need help with cleaning your home or meal preparation, you’ll need a homemaker.
  • If you would like someone to play cards with, read the newspaper out loud or take for a drive, then you may be interested in a companion.
  • All of these roles can be combined and tailored to your needs.

2.  Make sure the caregiver has experience.  The best way is to request a caregiver who has one of more years of experience. Also, chose reputable and experienced company and find out how long they have been in business.

3.  Make sure someone from the private duty caregiving company comes to your home before care begins and interviews you to find out your interests and your needs.  This ensures they will make the best match of your needs with the caregiver’s experience and interests.

4.  Make sure your caregiver has had a drug test and both a motor vehicle and national background check done by their private-duty company.  Also, it is important if you are looking for care for your loved one with dementia that the caregiver has had specific training in dementia care.

5.  Make sure your caregiver has had a flu shot to prevent the spread of flu.

6.  Make sure the company providing care has a team member available by phone on evenings, weekends and overnights to help you with any questions or concerns that arise.

7.  Lastly, you are in the driver’s seat. If your caregiver is not the perfect match for you, request a different caregiver.

Hartford HealthCare’s Independence at Home, part of Hartford HealthCare network of services, is a community-based home health care agency across most of Connecticut, which enables individuals to achieve maximum independence, to participate in their own plan of care, and to live with dignity while receiving quality care in their own homes. Independence at Home was awarded 2018 Best of Home Care – Employer of Choice Award from Home Care Pulse. For more information, click here or call 1.800.HomeCare/ 1.800.466.3227.


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