When hiring home care services, do you know some of the things that you should focus on when you’re looking at an independent contractor? Hiring through an agency offers most people peace of mind, knowing that the agency (many of them, at least) will have interviewed their employees and done some type of background check (though you should always check with the individual agency to determine what their hiring practices are).
When you hire independently – meaning that you advertised for a caregiver in the local paper, put up a flyer, responded to an ad, or other methods - it’s up to you to find out whether the person you hire actually has experience, is honest and reliable, and has a clean background, meaning that they haven't been arrested and charged with a crime. The process of hiring independently can be daunting and stressful, with all of the paperwork and interviews, checking references, etc. For this reason, many people turn to a home care agency to do all of the legwork for them.
While the instances of crimes committed by home care service providers is actually low, and even though there are more and more laws being put into place in states across the country that increase the punishments for these crimes against the elderly, they can still happen. Even if you’re not too concerned about crimes being committed, you want to make sure that you hire someone who knows what they’re doing, so that your loved one will be safe at home.
Three things that you should think about when hiring an independent contractor as an in-home care provider are:
How much experience do they have?
Have they been convicted of committing a crime in the past?
Are they reliable?
The first thing is experience. Not every caregiver is going to have experience. Remember, everyone has to start at the beginning at some point in time. However, because home care service providers aren’t required to have a college education and, if you hire independently, they don’t even need to have a high school diploma, they might have absolutely no experience caring for someone else.
Do you want to allow them to gain their experience working with your loved one?
You also want to be sure that the person you hire hasn’t committed a crime in the past. If they have, how will you know that they are different now? Do you want to put your loved one at risk to find out?
Finally, they should be reliable. The only way to truly find out if someone is going to show up when they are supposed to and do what is needed is to check with their previous employers and other references. Using friends or family members as references is not good enough; demand other references, even past teachers that they had.
The more background you check on, the more you’re going to be able to ensure that your loved one has the right home care service provider. If you want to avoid these hassles and risks, rely on a home care services agency instead.
If you or an aging loved one are considering home care services in Fairfield, CT or the surrounding areas, please contact SYNERGY HomeCare of Fairfield, CT at (203) 304-7303.