How to Find a Caregiver

Many families find themselves caring for a loved one who has a chronic condition, such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s or cancer. Often, they did not anticipate this role in their lives and may be overwhelmed by the physical, emotional, mental and financial demands. Caregiver stress can lead to burnout, which can result in family members needing a break or seeking help from a support group.

If you choose to hire a private caregiver, it is important that you prepare a job description and list the specific duties and responsibilities that you need the aide to perform. You will want to include a schedule, home privileges, meal access and any other relevant requirements. You should also ask for credentials, licensing and references.

Some families choose to use a registry, which is an online database that matches clients with caregivers. These companies typically charge a onetime fee to match you with a caregiver, but then the hiring and employment responsibility falls to you. The pros of using a registry include the ability to search for caregivers with certain qualifications, such as a second language or experience working with dementia patients.

Word of mouth is another great way to find a caregiver. Your loved ones’ friends, neighbors and colleagues may be able to recommend someone who has worked for them or their parents in the past. Getting a referral from a trusted source can give you peace of mind and confidence in the person you are hiring.

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