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Finding the right caregiver for your needs

Selecting the best person to provide care for a loved one with a disability or special needs is one of the most important decisions a family can make.  Before inviting a caregiver into your home -- and your life -- make sure you follow the right steps to find the best person for your specific needs.  Five Tips for Finding the Right Caregiver is our guide to help you through this process.

You'll learn:
  • How to use references to identify the best candidates
  • What kind of information you should ask a potential caregiver
  • What kind of training and experience your provider should have
  • How to check a candidate's record for important information
  • How to identify the non-care skills your caregiver should have

The right caregiver will provide you with the best service and, equally important, peace of mind.  Let us help you make the right decision.

The right caregiver can make all the difference in the world for an individual with developmental disabilities or an elder with special needs, as well as their family.  Before inviting anyone into your home and life to fill this critical role, make sure the person can meet the following criteria:

References – A good candidate will generally provide you with references from previous clients, but if not, ask for at least three.  Contact these individuals and ask them about their experience with the candidate.  Was he or she effective, caring, and responsive?  Did the person show up on time?  How did they handle unexpected situations or emergencies (if any)?   How well did the person handle non-care tasks that might be important to you (for example, housekeeping)? 

Relevant Experience – Does the candidate have a background in the kind of care you are looking for?  Have they cared for an individual similar to the person you are seeking care for?  What are some examples of the types of activities the candidate has performed for previous clients?  It may also be a good idea to ask if the candidate views caregiving as a career or a temporary job. 

Fingerprint Card – Many states require in-home health care workers obtain a Fingerprint Clearance Card which is used to conduct a state and federal criminal records check.  Make sure your candidate has a valid card and that they provide you with the original, laminated version – not a photocopy.  You should also verify the authenticity of the card by calling the law enforcement agency that issued the card (most have an employer call-in number for this purpose).  More information on obtaining and verifying Fingerprint Clearance Cards in Arizona here.

Certification & Training – Find out what types of certifications and formal training the candidate has documented.   In addition to any legally required training (such as First Aid, CPR and Incident Reporting), find out if the candidate has specific training that may be relevant to your needs, including Medication Management, Body Mechanics, Habilitation, Client Intervention Training and Positive Behavior Support.   Make sure any relevant certification is current and valid by checking with the training agency that issued the certification.
 
Proximity – Generally speaking, the closer the caregiver is to you geographically, the better.  This will reduce scheduling difficulties that can occur due to long commutes as well as make it easier for the provider to be available for any short notice care needs you may have.  A caregiver that lives relatively close to you will also probably be more familiar with local stores, parks, hospitals, and other facilities that may be relevant to your needs.

For more information on finding a qualified caregiver in Arizona, contact us online.