May 9th, 2018 | BY: Allegra Chaney

How to Find a Great Respite Caregiver: Advice for Family Caregivers

Dear Allegra:

I am my mother’s primary caregiver, although I do have an older sister. I am trying to find a reasonably priced, reliable home care aide. In just one year, my mother has had at least seven different aides.

We have run in to a variety of problems with aides. Some are too young and immature, while others are mature but not reliable. How can I avoid all this turnover and find a stable, mature home care aide to help my mother on a long-term basis?



Finding Loyal Caregivers

Dear Elaine:

We hear this struggle often from adult children who are struggling to manage the care of a parent. When you are hiring, training, and sometimes terminating caregivers, it can be stressful for you and for your mother.

Here are a few suggestions I hope you will find helpful:

  • List of needs: Start by creating a detailed list of everything your mother needs help with. Whether it is a task you perform on her behalf or one you will need a caregiver to help with, make sure it is added to the list. You can then use your list to create a care plan that meets your mother’s unique needs. This will help when it comes time to hire new caregivers. Potential caregivers will have a better understanding of what will be expected of them.
  • Create a schedule: Consistency is important to any caregiver you hire. Put together a schedule of days and times you need help. Remember, an hour or two here and there isn’t ideal for professional caregivers. Most like to work in blocks of time at least 3 or 4 hours long. Keep that in mind as you are putting together your ideal schedule.
  • Independent caregiver: Families often start out trying to hire a caregiver who is an independent contractor. An adult child might feel as if this approach gives them more control of the quality of caregiver. The downside to that is less reliability. If the caregiver gets sick or has a family emergency of their own, you will be left scrambling to find someone to help on short notice.
  • Home care agency: By contrast, if you work with a home care agency, they handle all of the employment issues for you. From reference checks to background checks, the agency takes the burden of employer off your shoulders. The agency will also have back-up caregivers who can be called in should the primary caregiver assigned to your mother become unavailable. Another benefit is that home care agencies that have been in business for a long time typically have a more stable team of professional caregivers.

I know these tips have probably given you a lot to consider. If you have more questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me or the Griswold office nearest you for help.

Kind regards,