Is it time to hire a live-in caregiver? Have you put this off until the last possible moment? If your spouse or family member is too much for you to handle alone, this is an option you may want to consider. Making such a decision may have come after much deliberation and soul-searching on your part as the primary caregiver.
At this point, barring any severe relapses or attacks, Cir and I are years from making this type of decision. However, it is definitely on the back burner because we have both expressed the fact that nursing home care is something that we don't want for each other. We haven't yet done very much research in this area, but will give advice on what we have found so far as live-in caregivers are concerned.
First of all, if you've come to this conclusion, you realize that you as the primary caregiver are not able to do this alone. You may or may not have nursing care at this point, either full or part-time for your husband. If not, this is a good place to start. And if yes, ask the company you are with if they offer or can recommend someone or a company that has this kind of service.
If you are doing the hiring yourself, you can possibly try placing an ad in a local paper or on website like Craig's List if you feel comfortable doing it this way. Otherwise you can find an agency that does the screening for you, then sends applicants for you to evaluate. If you use an agency, make sure they do some type of background check. And if you're still not sure or you are doing the hiring, you may want to hire someone to do a background check for you.
In the ad, be as detailed as possible in the space you have available. Let potential applicants know who they will be caring for, what their salary will be and if it will be based on experience, the experience requirements, the living arrangement or type of room available, if there are any house rules, and any other information they should know about before applying for the position.
Before conducting interviews, you can make up a list of things you would like in a caregiver. What type of skills and then write a list of questions you can ask in an interview. The first set of interviews will be more impersonal where you will get an application, references, identification, and make sure they can legally work in the US. While the first interview is kept more on a professional level, the second interview, after you've weeded out the applicants you don't want, can be more personal.
Make sure the live-in caregiver has experience for the kind of care you need him/her to do for your husband. For example, can they change an in-dwelling catheter, or run a hoyer lift? Be sure to ask these types of questions and any other specialized needs your husband may have.
Other things to look at are references. A person who has been at one residence or on one job for a long time, shows more stability than someone who has gone from job to job in a short amount of time. Get names and addresses and call them to see if past employers were satisfied with the live-in caregiver's performance.
Ask a few on-the-spot questions like “Why should I hire you?” These types of questions help you to learn more about the person. And be sure and take notes for each candidate so that when you sit down later and go through the possible applicants, you will know who is who.