As you probably already know, choosing the right homecare company or worker is not as easy as it might seem at first. This is probably one of the most labor-intensive and difficult decisions you may have to make in your life. Choosing someone to care for your loved one will require a great deal of time and attention. While there may be many companies and individuals that advertise homecare services, finding just the right one for you will not be easy.  That does not mean, however, that it cannot be done. With a few tips and suggestions, you will be able to find the right homecare worker and/or company to provide the best level of care possible for your loved one.

Here are some suggestions about the qualities you should look for in a homecare worker or company:

  1. Experience

While it is probably preferable to find a homecare aide or worker who has direct experience in the homecare field, there are several types of experience that you should look for as you make your selection. Look for someone who has experience in the areas that your loved one needs the most assistance in. If your loved one needs help with light housekeeping, look for a person who has experience in this field. If you need someone who has experience with patients who have dementia or Alzheimer’s disease or some other specific need, make sure that the person you are interviewing has significant experience with individuals who have these kinds of ailments. If your loved one needs meal preparation, make sure that the applicant for the position has experience preparing and serving meals. The needs of the client should determine how many years of experience the candidates you are interviewing should have. The more specific and involved the needs of the client, the more experience the homecare applicant should have.

  1. Expertise and Credentialing

You want to make sure that the homecare worker or company you choose has all of the training and required certifications needed for the position. You can look on your State’s website under “Home Healthcare” to find out what kinds of courses and/or credentials are needed for homecare workers in your State. Make sure that anyone you hire has, at a minimum, the qualifications needed to perform as a certified homecare worker.

  1. Patience

As you know from your own experience, providing excellent homecare requires a great deal of patience and compassion. You want to hire someone who has the patience needed to meet the client’s needs without losing their temper or belittling the client in any way.  You should be able to tell, during your interview, whether the applicant for the position demonstrates adequate patience.

  1. Experience Working With the Elderly or Target Population

Under the “Experience” category, you are particularly interested in finding someone who has worked with a client like the one you are hiring for. If the client is elderly, it would be best to hire someone who has worked with senior citizens before. If your client has a particular disability or ailment, it will be best to find a candidate who has experience working with clients who have these kinds of special needs. You want to find someone who has experience working with someone like your loved one. Experience with this specific target group will help the homecare worker provide a better level of service.

  1. Reliability

It goes without saying that you will want to find a homecare worker or company who is reliable and can be depended upon. Because of the nature of the work, it is imperative that you hire someone who will report for duty on time, in time, every time. It will not be acceptable to find someone who comes late or leaves early. You want to find someone on whom you—and, more importantly, your client—can rely and depend upon to be there when they have agreed to be there, on time, every time.

  1. Compassion

It goes without saying that an effective homecare worker will be a person who has great compassion. If the homecare worker is going to care for others, he/she must have the ability to empathize with the client (and with you as the one seeking a homecare worker) and put him/herself in the client’s shoes. You definitely want to find someone with great compassion.  This will make life easier for both the client and the homecare worker.

Hopefully, these suggestions have given you some basic ideas about some of the things you need to look for as you search for a capable homecare worker and/or company. Make sure you interview them thoroughly and do reference checks to find out how they have performed on previous jobs or assignments. By doing a thorough job of checking out the homecare worker or company on the front end, you can be more certain to find just the right homecare worker and/or company for your and your client’s needs.

Feel free to contact us a or 303.780.7339 for consultation or other matters related to home care for your aging or disabled family members.

About the Author

Cynthia Barnes, PhD, lives in Denver, Colorado and is an experienced educational and training professional at all educational levels. Dr. Barnes has a background in organizational development and change and systems thinking/operating. She is a published author with exceptional written, oral, and interpersonal relationship skills. Dr. Barnes has consulted with organizations and school systems throughout the United States and in Canada, Germany, Micronesia, and South Africa.

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