What to look for when hiring a caregiver

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Here’s a quick list of factors to consider, based on some best practices we have researched and experienced.

There are a lot of lists online that offer great guidelines on what to look for in a caregiver, but they are often very one-sided. They either focus on qualifications and training, or on the employee management side of things. Here is our comprehensive list of items to consider when finding a caregiver:

  1. Don’t limit yourself to only one culture or background when sourcing candidates. Personality, strengths and connection will always matter more than background.

  2. Ask current caregivers if they have friends looking for work. Great workers know other great workers, so maintain relationships and use those networks.

  3. Do your best to understand the motivations and strengths of the candidates. Here is a list of questions and answers which can help you.

  4. Understand who this caregiver will work with and how they might fit with the different personalities that exist in your family system. A great example is the cooking vs. cleaning. Simply put, people generally feel more apt in one of these two tasks. Determine which you care more about and find a caregiver to either support you in what you lack, or one who will adhere to your high standards. To sum up, a clean freak should not handle someone who cares more about perfecting dinner than they do organizing and sorting everyday. Both basic tasks will be done, but which area would you prefer additional focus on?

  5. Understand their ethical compass: What do they believe, how have they shown this in the past? Learn about this by asking about past work, about their family, and about why they work and their goals.

  6. Money isn’t everything: You may feel that paying top dollar gets you the best care, but that often just means you get those motivated most by financial reward. Invest in somebody with heart, training on tasks is always easy when a caregiver has the right attitude. As they perform and remain loyal, increase their compensation as a show of appreciation.

  7. Use this list from that we found for more ideas from and this list from to make sure you have addressed all of the safety issues.

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Let’s break down the real information you need to know, and signs you need to watch out for when considering caregiver hiring agencies.