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What to Look for When Hiring a Senior Caregiver

Even the most dedicated family member may need to make room for paid outside caregiving if it is clearly in an elder loved one’s best interest. It may not be an easy transition, but it can be important to know what to look for when hiring caregiving help. After all, the person you choose  will have intimate access to a vulnerable loved one.

Let us share with you several key points to consider as you look to hire a professional caregiver.


Make sure any prospective caregivers are appropriately licensed and insured to perform the care services you are hiring them to do. There are three general certifications for home caregivers: an HHA, or home health aide; a CNA, or certified nursing assistant; and an LVN, or licensed vocational nurse. These licenses allow for most levels of in-home care but, in most instances, not invasive health care, such as giving an injection. 

Personality Fit.

Even if a caregiver has all the proper credentials to meet an elder loved one’s needs, it is still no guarantee that he or she will be the right fit, which is a huge part of successful caregiving. Keep in mind that you are signing up a stranger to spend time alone with an aging adult, and that a personality mismatch is a real possibility with undesirable results. Make sure to interview caregiver candidates, and seek feedback from your elder loved one.


Hiring a caregiver is not all that different from hiring an employee. Part of that process involves checking in with named references and performing basic background checks. You may want to know, for example, if any complaints have been filed against a  prospective caregiver. A home care agency should provide reliable information, but a little research can add extra assurance.


If you are presented with a contract from a home health care agency, it would be worthwhile to have a qualified attorney look it over and identify any areas of concern. Similarly, if you are considering hiring your own independent caregiver, constructing a contract is best handled by an elder law attorney. Above all, you need to know your rights, and the rights of your elder loved one regarding quality care.

We know this can be a hard transition for both the senior and the family. We encourage you to schedule a meeting and ask us your questions on this important topic.