The first step is to understand that you are not alone. There is an array of professionals that can help you transition together onto this new stage.
While trusting someone to care for people you love may not be easy, there are several ways to ensure you get them the best possible care. Start by clarifying what you need. Is it in-home care? Do you need a health professional? Are you expecting to have someone to take care of their household needs? Make a thorough list and use it to create a job posting. Depending on your parent’s health, you also need to determine how much they can be involved in the decision-making process.
Safety is always the main concern of family members who are seeking care for their elderly relatives. What if they are abused or neglected? While you always need to pay close attention to how things unfold after hiring a caregiver, due diligence is the best way to ensure safety. Once you have chosen a few good candidates, run a background check. Make sure they have no history of violence (which can be checked through criminal records) or sexual abuse (by checking sex offender registries).
A good place to start is to use an online service. Checkpeople, for example, can help you sort through thousands of websites and offer a comprehensive report. They charge a flat fee for unlimited monthly searches. If your parents require professional healthcare (such as a nurse or nurse aide), make sure they are certified.
The next step in the due diligence process is to call references and cross-check the information you get from them. When calling previous employers, ask for very specific examples of a candidate’s performance, such as: how did they handle emergency situations? Can you describe their attitude towards the job? How was the relationship between them and the person they were caring for?
The last step is the interview. Whenever possible, it is recommended that your parent is part of the interview process. This will help them have an easier transition. During the interview, talk about your specific requirements. Be clear about your expectations, and ask what they need from you. All this information will later need to be written down and signed on a professional agreement or contract.