Hiring senior care workers mirrors that of hiring nannies and other household help. In fact, it is much of the same thing—entrusting the care of your loved one and home to another. In the end, you want a safe, happy, and comfortable home for all who live there, and, as with all household employees, the senior caregiver wants to be in a happy workplace. That means doing it right.
While we at A New England Nanny pre-screen and interview candidates before passing them along to our families, we also encourage conducting your own interviews for the candidates we suggest. After all, it’s your home and family! Please see the list below for a sampling of interview questions you might want to ask a senior caregiver.
Questions to ask a Senior Caregiver Candidate
- Why are you interested in at-home senior care/what attracts you to the job?
- How long have you been working with the elderly?
- What are your hobbies and interests?
- What caregiving practices are you trained in, who trained you and when? (Does your training include special dementia or Alzheimer’s training? If so, by whom and what did the training cover? Do you recognize the signs of stroke, heart attack and the onset of many illnesses?)
- What did your past at-home care experiences entail—what kind of care did you provide and what type of experiences did you have? What was the most difficult experience with senior care that you’ve dealt with and how did you resolve it? What is your average day like when caring for an elderly loved one in-home?
- Are you currently caring for a senior? Why did you leave your last position?
- Have you ever been fired from a job—explain? Have you ever been convicted of a crime, or is there a felony charge pending against you? (Please take care in how you ask the applicant certain questions – you must adhere to EEOC law, see chapter 13.)
- Can I check at least three references? (How recent are these references?)
- What is your schedule like/how flexible is it—what hours are you available to care for my loved one? How much time can you commit to this position?
- What is your hourly fee/what do you charge? Are charges more for night or weekend care?
- Do you know CPR? (When were you certified? Last re-certified?)
- Are there duties described in this position that are difficult for you to do or that you will not do? Along with caring for my elderly loved one, are you willing to perform household tasks such as meal preparation and light housekeeping?
- The home is a non-smoking environment—are you okay with this?
- Would you be available to provide care in an emergency? Have you handled emergencies in the past—if so, what did you do then and what would you do in an emergency now? What would you do if my loved one fell, choked on food or stopped breathing?
- How do you handle a situation in which a senior resists your care/what would you do if my loved one became hard to manage?
- What will you do if you are ill and cannot care for my loved one that day?
- How do you report what occurs—is there a daily log, report or other documentation that must be completed?
Remember to allow the candidate to do most of the talking—you are trying to learn whether he or she is right for the job, your family, and household. It is important for you and your loved ones to feel comfortable with the caregiver, so don’t be afraid to move on to another candidate if it’s not the right fit.
For more information, contact us at (518) 348-0400.