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We want to take care of our parents and elderly friends and family, and with so many stories of elder abuse out there, trying to choose the right caregiver can be troubling. Any wrong decision could have disastrous consequences, so how do you get it right?
To be sure, there are compassionate, considerate, and caring professionals out there that can help elderly loved ones live their best life for their remaining years. So how do you find them? Here are a few tips when hiring a caregiver:
Know What You Need
Are you looking for a companion to help pass the time in a constructive way? Or do you need more comprehensive medical care? Figuring out your loved one's needs ahead of time will help you focus on the kind of documentation and disposition you want to see out of a caregiver.
This will also help if you are planning on hiring through an agency, as there are many from which to choose. Establishing your needs in a caregiver will let you narrow your search and focus your research.
Know the Arrangement
If you are hiring a caregiver on your own, your ad and your employment contract will be essential. A thorough job description can list the level of health care training needed, and what will be expected of the applicant. You should also demand at least two references and follow up to make sure you know who you're hiring.
You should also have an extensive care-giving contract. This serves a couple functions: the contract puts the caregiver on notice as to what you expect and require from his or her service, and also gives you recourse for any variation or violation. (For example, having a person's social security number helps if he or she steals from you or a loved one.)
Know What's Going On
Diagnosing and dealing with elder abuse can be difficult. If you would like legal help with an aging loved one, you may want to consult with an experienced elder law attorney near you.