10 Step Guide on How to Hire a Carer

eldery care

Published on June 22, 2021

As an expert in recruitment, many families choose to come to us for advice when looking to hire a carer.  Regardless if you are planning on self-recruiting or going through a professional agency, hiring a carer can give you and your loved one’s peace of mind that your family members are cared for in the highest degree.

We all get older, and sometimes we are unlucky to struggle with medical or mobility issues as we age.  It can be a difficult time for the individual or the family members, and hiring a carer can give everyone much needed support and professional attention. Here are our handy steps on how to hire a carer.

1. Plan for the Future

When we start to look at how to hire a carer, we want to consider the future. It can be difficult and we all wish we could look into a fortune teller’s crystal ball to see the answers. But try to establish a clear future plan.  Perhaps your elderly relative has been diagnosed with dementia or another medical condition on which there are typical development stages.  Take these into account when looking to hire a carer, as this will affect the type of care your family member might need to receive now and how it will change and evolve.

2. Communication and Patience

You may be lucky and have the family member, who needs the care, completely on board with the idea, however, in many cases, the person needing the care might not be ready to accept they need help.  It is important you treat with sensitivity and patience in how you approach the subject.

So when you look to hire a carer, communication is key. You can offer self-reflective examples, for example, you could say ‘I have a housekeeper and it makes my life so much easier – wouldn’t it be nice if someone could help you do the heavy lifting around the house and cook you some food here and there?’ This no-pressure, friendly and informal communication can help get all parties on board when the need to hire a carer arises.

3. Baby Steps

You may be clear about the type of care required, but for the elderly person, it can be a scary time.  When we age, we naturally slow down, and in turn, big changes of situation and surrounding can be daunting, so keep this in mind.

Take baby steps and approach each new discussion with openness and love.  Don’t rush or push the elderly person to make the decision, but give the right level of pressure to make informed decisions together.  Ensure they are kept in the loop and feel like they are in charge of the situation.  If the person needing the care is unable to make the decisions for themselves, then still attempt to communicate with them, as this will help with the transition to hire a carer.

Ensure they are kept in the loop and feel like they are in charge of the situation.  If the person needing the care is unable to make the decisions for themselves, then still attempt to communicate with them, as this will help with the transition to hire a carer.

4. Research Options

There are multiple routes you can take to hire a carer.  The three main routes are:

  • Self-recruitment – where you use your own network, contacts and other websites to advertise and hire a carer.
  • Agency Care Providers – a specialist agency who employ carers.  In this instance, you pay the agency directly and they send you carers which meet your specification to help with the care.
  • Agency Introduction Services – a specialist agency who acts as an introduction/headhunter service.  They provide a range of candidates for you to consider and then once you hire a carer, they work directly for you and you don’t continue to pay the agency.

5. Budget

An important factor to consider when looking to hire a carer is the budget.  The budget will be closely linked to the level of care provided.  For example, if you need 24/7 around the clock medical care, you would need to hire two caregivers (to work on rotation), whilst an elderly person just needing a few hours each day from a live out part time carer, the budget will be considerably different.

You should also plan for long-term solutions with the budget, as unless otherwise medically suggested, people live longer and older than ever before!

6. Start the Recruitment

Once you’ve decided on what you need and which option for recruitment you are going to take, you can start the process.  Allow at least a few months to find the right person (unless your timeline doesn’t allow this) as this will reduce the anxiety and stress levels!  If you have to find someone quickly, then always look to seek professional help and go to an agency for speed and peace of mind.

7. Vet, Vet, Vet!

Regardless if you are doing self-recruitment or going through an agency, it is the most important stage of the process to vet the carer (and we don’t mean taking them to the vet!).  You can do this prior to interviews or after interviews, but you MUST get the paperwork, from references through to DBS (criminal background checks).

A good agency will do this on your behalf but you can always request to see the documentation for additional peace of mind.  Hiring a carer will mean the carer will be working with potentially vulnerable adults (or children) and you need to be 100% sure that the person is who they say they are.

8. Formalise the Offer

Once you’ve interviewed, vetted and decided on who you wish to hire, you should always formalise the offer before you hire a carer.  This can be in form of a written formal letter or a contract. We always recommend a contract as it ensures that there are no grey areas and all parties involved are clear.  A contract will also protect you if there are any disagreements with the carer at a later stage.

If you are working with an agency, they can advise on this, or you can ask your own personal solicitor or lawyer to assist.

9. Adapt

Things change.  Part of life is being flexible and allowing for these changes.  It might be a difficult thing to accept, but acknowledging that the care required needs to change is important, from the hours increasing to the qualification of the carer due to medical developments.  The more flexible you can be, the easier it will be to hire the right caregiver.

10. Trust

You may feel very frustrated that you cannot personally give the care yourself.  This is understandable and a normal feeling for many family members.  Part of hiring a caregiver is to hand over the trust to a person/stranger and this can be daunting.

It is important to trust but to also follow your gut instincts and ensure you’ve taken every step to make sure that the health and safety of your loved one come first.  Both you and their lives will be improved by the wonderful support a caregiver can provide to you.

How Can Polo & Tweed Help?

Are you more clear now on how to hire a carer? We are here to help! If you need our recruitment help, help or just any advice on hiring a carer, we’d love to hear from you. We have worked with many carers over many years. Our team prides itself on finding the exact right person for you and your household. So let us take the stress and worry of finding the right person away from you. Simply drop us a line or give us a call and we’d be happy to chat through our specific process and how we can best help you hire a carer.

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