Updated July 2018, originally posted on Quora in November 2017
Online advertisements on free job boards or social media are among the easiest ways to find non-medical support staff. Look for an online community discussion group or job board for the area and ask. Many caregivers working privately do so through word of mouth.
Once you’ve found a private caregiver you may find the larger challenge to be retaining them. Before you start looking, consider the service frequency of the care that is needed:
If you are looking for a once or more daily service of 2 hours or less then you are likely to have difficulty with finding and retaining consistent caregivers. Even a couple times per week may prove challenging. For short frequent visits agency support is advisable. People hiring privately generally struggle in these situations and have high turnover. If faced with this situation it is strongly recommended to look for people living as close as possible to client and to pay a premium relative to the local market.
If hiring for longer hours that would make up at least a part time position (4h+) or on a less frequent basis it will be much easier to retain consistent caregivers. Scheduling for vacations and last minute absences will be the challenging part. If the care becomes an ‘essential’ service where the person was dependent on care you would absolutely want to have an agency or two for backup.
Improve your experience with these five tips:
- Hire someone with the right education for dementia and clinical caregiving (ie not a non-medical caregiver)
- Make a detailed written plan of the care and tasks to be accomplished in order to keep the job requirements transparent
- Keep the care plan with a communication book for the caregivers to document what takes place during their visits
- Obtain the appropriate workplace insurance. Career caregiving has very high rates of injury
- Use an online calendar to create a client schedule that can be shared with the caregivers