two elderly people sitting on a bench by a sandy beach.

10 Important Questions to Ask A Caregiver

Good professional care for your loved one is vital. More than ever, it is important to ensure anyone caring for America’s elderly is qualified, caring, knowledgeable, kind, thorough, and competent. Accidents happen, things slip through the cracks, but we can certainly do everything in our power to ensure quality care. To start, ask these 10 important questions of anyone you hire as a caregiver.

10 Important Questions to Ask a Caregiver

1) Do you have experience with the concerns/health problems/needs of my loved one?

Of course, it makes sense to hire a caregiver who has at least some experience with your loved one’s specific needs. Certainly, they can learn some of the nuances, but for more complicated needs, experience is essential. 

“If your loved one has a history of falling, or if you’re worried about his or her balance, ask questions about a caregiver’s ability to help with fall prevention and fall-proofing the home.”

Visiting Angels

2) What is the care plan? How often will we evaluate its effectiveness?

Unfortunately, no matter how great the care, your loved one’s condition may change as time goes on. If the caregiver is paying attention, they will notice the changes, no matter how small, and work to reevaluate their clients’ needs on a regular basis. Even if it is just a yearly evaluation, make sure they are willing to adapt the care plan as time health concerns progress.

3) What days are you on vacation?

It may seem odd since it is not directly related to your loved one’s care, but this question can help you plan. The care of a loved one is often a group effort. While a professional caregiver is a great asset, they are human, too and will need vacation time. Ensure they get the days off they need and that your loved one is not left alone or without care during that time. Knowing the caregiver’s vacation days and expectations ahead of time can help you plan so nothing falls through the cracks.

two elderly people sitting on a bench by a sandy beach.
PC: Oxana Melis via Unsplash

4) What type of personal care do you provide?

Personal care would cover things like baths, changing clothes, general hygiene, and more. These day-to-day needs should not be ignored. To make sure all of your loved one’s needs are met, ask the caregiver what they are able/willing to do for personal care to see if they are a good fit and where someone else may need to fill in.

5) What would you do in X situation?

Don’t try to throw them off or propose crazy scenarios, but try to get a feel for how they would react in certain real-life situations. Recall a time that your loved one was difficult or had an unusual issue, then ask the caregiver how they would handle it. Who would they contact for more information or help? What resources would they refer to? How calm would they be? What would be their step-by-step method for handling the situation? 

6) What other, extraneous experience do you have that would apply to this job?

People have a huge variety of talents and caregivers have often worked a wide range of jobs. This question will give them the opportunity to share with you other skills they may have that could be an asset to your loved one’s care. 

7) How many hours per week will you realistically be able to be here?

Though some care providers will have a set number of hours that you pay for, others may be on more of a fluid schedule or have other clients. Be sure you are aware of their availability, whether or not they are on-call, or how often and at what times of day you can expect them. 

8) How would you describe yourself as a caregiver?

You may not be looking for exact words, but rather you are trying to get a feel for the caregiver’s perspective on their job. Do they speak positively about themselves and the job? Do they indicate a sense of responsibility and accountability? Do they sound reasonable? Will they be logical in their approach to your loved one’s care?

9) Can I do a background check? Is there anything I should know about that will show up?

As we’ve discussed before, caregivers are the most likely to abuse the elderly. You are hiring a person who will have direct and regular close contact with your loved one. A background check should be standard as an extra measure of protection against potential abuse. If the caregiver seems uncomfortable with this, then that might be a red flag.

10) References

Finally, ask for references. Nothing is more reassuring than a glowing report from someone who has directly dealt with your potential caregiver. Talk with their previous clients to get a feel for the caregiver’s style, personality, care approach, and overall performance. If your caregiver is new to the industry, ask for character references either in writing or via phone call. 

Preventing abuse and ensuring your loved one has the best care are the top priorities. While these 10 questions are just a few interview questions you should ask, they are a great place to start when looking for someone who will provide excellent care.

If you or your loved one have been the victim of abuse or neglect, call Gharibian Law (866-958-4052)today for a FREE consultation and the best legal representation.