The nature of a CDPAP caregiver’s job is very delicate. Because of that, if you are thinking about hiring someone to provide care for a family member or friend, you must carefully vet candidates that have the right qualities, experience, skill sets, and availability.

This article will highlight all of these aspects and more.

What is a caregiver?

A caregiver’s job entails helping a sick or elderly patient (whether professionally or personally) and caring for their health and well being.

For example, if you hire a caregiver for a friend or family member, they may assist your loved one with their day-to-day tasks (such as doing chores) and activities (including bathing and exercise).

Due to the demanding nature of this role, only those that have certain characteristics and personality traits can become efficient caregivers.

Qualities Needed to Be an Elderly Caregiver

Before you decide to hire a caregiver for your loved one, you want to make sure that they demonstrate the following qualities:

  • They have determination and a strong character.
  • He or she is willing to take the initiative to do what’s right for the patient.
  • The caregiver is compassionate and engages in acts of giving.
  • They can multitask and balance between doing several things at the same time.
  • Their patience allows them to handle difficult situations with calmness and composure.
  • The caregiver is emotionally understanding and empathetic.
  • He or she has a positive and cheerful attitude. After all, your friend or family member’s psychological wellbeing is crucial to their physical health and recovery.
  • In the same vein, a caregiver with a sense of humor is certainly desirable.

To get an idea if a person that you might hire possesses these qualities or not, you will have to ask them specific questions when you initially meet them to discuss the job.

Questions to Ask While Interviewing the Caregiver

Firstly, you want to learn about their background and know what makes it appealing for them to be your loved one’s caregiver. Questions like “Why are you interested in this position”, “Tell me more about yourself”, and “What made you become a caregiver?” are a good starting point.

Secondly, you should ensure that they have the right experience and qualifications by asking them the following:

  • Where have you worked before?
  • What were your duties?
  • What is your favorite kind of client?
  • What pushes your buttons?

Thirdly, once you establish that they have the background and skills that you’re looking for, you can talk about your particular requirements and the type of support that your family member or friend needs by making these inquiries:

  • How do you deal with someone living with memory problems? You may want to ask them for some examples that they dealt with.
  • How do you handle someone who is angry, stubborn, and/or fearful?
  • What is your experience transferring someone out of bed or a chair and into a wheelchair?
  • Describe your experience making meals for other people.
  • Similar questions that pertain to the patient’s attitude, problems, and necessities.
  • Is there anything in the job description that you’re uncomfortable with doing?

Finally, if your loved one’s potential caregiver has the right qualities, personality attributes, and background, you can move forward with the interview. At this stage, here are the questions that you should bring forth:

  • Can you give me two work-related references and a personal one that I could contact?
  • What is your availability? Have them narrow down their answer to specific days and times.
  • Do you have a car? Would you rather use your own vehicle or ours for transportation? If they plan on driving their car to see your friend or family member, the caregiver must provide you with a copy of a valid driver’s license and proof of auto insurance coverage.
  • Do you have personal identification that verifies that you can legally work in the United States? Please bring it with you so that I could make a copy for my records. In this case, a passport, U.S birth certificate, proof of citizenship, or a permanent residence/green card would suffice.

When you find a caregiver that has the qualities, experience, and skills that you’re looking for, and, afterwards, decide to hire them, you can start preparing their contract.

Important Elements to Include in a Contract

As you put together your friend or family member’s caregiver contract, you want it to spell out the following:

  • A detailed job description that highlights their roles, responsibilities, tasks, if the care will be provided at home or elsewhere, and other related aspects.
  • The hours and schedule (how many hours they can expect to work per week and on what days/times).
  • Their compensation (which is mostly done on a per-hour basis, unless you prefer to pay them a fixed salary), payment method (check, direct deposit, or something else), and pay periods (whether you plan on writing the check/depositing the funds every week, two weeks, or month).
  • Anything else that was arranged during the interview, such as whose car will be used for transportation or to take the patient to/from doctor appointments.

At the end of the day, the contract of your loved one’s caregiver is just as important as their qualities and attributes. The former formalizes the caregiver’s delicate responsibilities, while the latter ensures that you hire someone who can fulfill them efficiently and reliably.

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