Your parents were there to take care of you as your grew up, but now the roles have reversed and they need you to care for them.

While many seniors are mentally and physically capable of caring for themselves, others might suffer from issues that may limit their mobility or their ability to live on their own.

As much as you’d like to tend to their every need, it’s often impossible to do so, especially if you work full-time or have a family of your own to take care of. In these cases, having a caregiver to care for your aging parents might be your best solution.

Considering how important this job is, you want to make sure you find the right caregiver. Your parents are very important to you, so you want to make sure that the person you hire cares for them as they should. Using a placement agency is usually the best place to start looking for a caregiver, as they generally pre-screen candidates to ensure that the people have the credentials necessary for the job.

But you’ll also want to make sure that the person you hire is a good fit for your situation. Here are some tips to finding and hiring a caregiver for your elderly parents.

Verify Their Experience

While nanny agencies or placement websites may play a key role in ensuring that their caregivers are properly trained and have the right credentials to be a caregiver, you might still want to do your own digging. You want your caregiver to have the right experience tending to clients with similar issues that your parents might have.   A person experienced with caring for an infant may not be the best fit for a senior.

For example, if your parents have Alzheimer’s, ideally the caregiver you choose should have some experience dealing with this type of issue. There are certain nuances that come with different scenarios, so you want to ensure that the caregiver is able to comfortably handle whatever issues your aging parent may be suffering from.

Make Sure There’s a Personality Match

The caregiver you hire might have the best credentials possible, but will there be a connection with your parents? How will they get along? After all, the caregiver and your folks will be spending a lot of time together, so you’ll want to make sure their personalities jive.

Carefully assess their personality and go with your gut instinct about the caregiver. Ask some questions to find out what their interests are to see if there’s any common ground with your parents. Better yet, have your parents attend the interview, if possible, to see if there’s any connection made.

Get References

Personal references are a must, and you should contact each one.  Find out what the caregiver was like and if there have been any complaints about them. Further, confirm their length of employment, which is important if you’re looking for someone to stick around for the long haul.

Have a Contract Signed

No matter how you find your elder caregiver, having a written employment arrangement will minimize any friction or bad feelings in the future.  It is particularly important for your contract to specify important details about the job, including:

  • Scheduled hours
  • Expected job duties
  • Transportation issues
  • Vacation time and guidelines
  • Rate of pay
  • Whether compensation is on salary or hourly basis (most caregivers should be paid on an hourly basis)

Pay Your Elder Caregiver Legally

When you hire someone to work in your home, that person becomes your (or your parent’s) household employee and should be paid legally “above the table”.  

Payroll services can help you with this task, and may seem an attractive option at first – until you consider the overall cost. With setup fees and other costs, a payroll service could cost you more than $1,000 the first year alone, and can quickly add up to several thousands of dollars over the time your parent needs in home care.

With just a little bit of initial effort, you can learn how to do it yourself, and NannyPay software is here to help. For almost two decades, NannyPay has been helping new household employers comply with the employment tax laws and save money too!  Download a fully-functional version of the software and try it for free for 30-days.  No obligation or credit card information required.