Caring for elderly parents is difficult even in the best of times, and eventually you may have to come to the realization that you simply cannot do it on your own. Will you know where to turn when that time comes for you and your family?

Knowing the right questions to ask is vital to finding the right service that will suit your family’s needs. Your first step is assessing the necessary care level required. How much care do your parents need that you are not able to provide yourself? That involves medical, household and personal care too.

Regardless of where you decide to look for an in home caregiver, you should have a list of questions ready to ask them during your interview:

– Are you a certified care giver?

– Do you have professional training?

– Are you legally allowed to work in this country?

– Do you have any diseases or medical conditions that we should be aware of?

– What is your experience level?

– Is there anything about our care giving needs that you are uncomfortable or unfamiliar with?

– What kind of work schedule are you expecting? Do you work weekends and/or holidays?

– Will you sign a contract?

– What are your references?

If you want to avoid the hassles of finding someone on your own, and having to manage the interviewing and background checks, you can work with a caregiver agency that can pair you with an appropriate professional. In that case, you will want to ask the agency the following:

– Are your staff certified?

– How long have you been operating as a staffing agency for care givers?

– Are supplies in included in the pricing for services?

Do You Need a Contract?

Whether you are working with an agency or have found an individual through a personal reference, you should never enter into a working agreement without a contract. It’s for your protection as well as the caregiver’s. Any contract for services should include:

– Your name and the caregiver’s name (and agency)
– Contact information for caregiver, including SSN
– Agreed-upon wages
– Work schedule with hours
– Permitted behavior
– Basic outline of expected duties and services
– Clause for termination
– Signatures of yourself, caregiver and an agency representative (if you use an agency)

Making Your Choice

When you have examined all your options and investigated all potential caregivers, take your time with the final decision. This will effect your elderly parents as well as your entire family, and it should not be a rushed decision. Research is very important to making that right choice.