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15 Questions to Ask When Interviewing Home Health Agency Caregivers

Posted by Daystar Retirement Village on Oct 13, 2020 2:14:00 PM

Trying to find caregiver or service provider is a challenging task. Whether it’s for you or a loved, you want to make sure you find a professional who not only has the skills to meet your needs but also a complementary temperate and personality.

15 Questions to Ask When Interviewing Home Health Agency CaregiversAs you will be spending ample time with this person and entrusting them with your care, it’s important to properly vet multiple applicants, whether they work independently or through a home health agency in the West Seattle area. This process often involves meeting prospective health aides in person so you can get a better sense of their personal attributes and conduct a thorough interview.

What are the Responsibilities of a Caregiver?

There are a few different types of caregivers who have varying qualifications and purposes. Some of these include personal care aides (PCAs), home health aides (HHAs), registered nurses (RNs), and physical therapists (PTs).

In general, home health care providers, or caregivers, are hired to help seniors with routine tasks or activities of daily living (ADL). Depending on your level of need, they may live with you in your home or come for a set number of hours each week.

During that time, they offer assistance with tasks such as housekeeping, prescription medication management, doing laundry, making your bed, meal preparation, running errands, and personal care services like bathing and grooming. They also help you schedule appointments and provide transportation to and from places like the store, doctor’s office, senior center, and a hair salon. If you have mobility issues, they assist you in getting around your house or going for walks around the neighborhood.

Beyond assisting with daily activities, caregivers provide a level of support and companionship to meet your emotional needs as well. They not only make it possible for you to continue living on your own, even when you need assistance but enjoyable as well.

What are the Qualities of a Good Caregiver?

No matter what type of care provider you select, there are certain desirable character traits that help ensure the arrangement is positive for both parties. You want a caregiver who is a good listener and a quick learner, who doesn’t need to be given instructions or requests multiple times. Patience, punctuality, and a high level of responsibility are also important attributes. Additionally, someone who possesses a good sense of humor and can graciously handle unexpected circumstances—as those will arise while you’re working together—is a bonus.

What Questions Should I Ask a Caregiver?

If you’re looking for a qualified home care worker in West Seattle, get ready for interviewing at least a couple potential candidates. Interview questions for caregivers and home aides typically fall in four categories: direct questions about past experience; behavioral questions; hypothetical questions; and skills questions. Here are several potential questions to ask a caregiver before hiring them:

1. What is your past training and experience? Have you worked with a person that shared any mental or physical health conditions similar to mine? If the answer is yes, please provide specifics.

2. Are you certified in CPR and first-aid applications? If not, would be willing to acquire those skills if we cover the costs?

3. Here is a list of the tasks we need help with. Is there anything on there that causes you hesitation or concern?

4. When can you start working? What sort of hours can you commit to?

5. Do you work other jobs or have other commitments that impact your schedule? Can you be flexible on the hours?

6. Would you be willing to occasionally provide respite care or stay over for a long weekend?

7. After a trial period, are you willing to make a long-term commitment (such as six months or one year)?

8. Do you have a clean driving record, driver’s insurance, and reliable transportation? How far away do you live from my home? Do expect to use your car or mine to run errands?

9. What is your expectation for calling in sick or taking vacation time? Are you willing to help find someone to cover your days off?

10. Do you agree not to bring guests or other people into our home without prior approval?

11. Why did you decide to become a caregiver? Why did you apply to work for your agency?

12. How do you handle constructive criticism?

13. Why did you leave your previous job? What did you like about it? What did you dislike about it?

14. How will you keep me or my family members up to date with changes to health or behavior?

15. Can I call your last employer and/or client? Can you give me other work-related and personal references?

In addition to these caregiver interview questions, it can be helpful to create a couple of theoretical scenarios that might arise and ask each candidate how they would respond or handle the situation. For example:

  • My mother won’t take her prescribed medication because she insists that she already did, and I’m out of town. What would you do?
  • How would you respond if a client woke up disoriented and became combative with you?

Getting Assistance for Your Loved One in Seattle

For some families, hiring an in-home caregiver for an aging parent is the perfect solution, as it allows them to remain in their home near West Seattle but get assistance with many daily tasks that are challenging. Another option is to consider moving yourself or your parent to a local assisted living community, such as Daystar Retirement Village. The Daystar team is made up of dedicated caregivers who specialize in caring for residents with growing special needs, and our assisted living services are designed with one goal in mind: helping you achieve a high quality of life in a safe, comfortable environment.


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