There comes a time in almost every adult child’s life when they find themselves in the position of having to care for one (or both) of their aging parents. As a person’s body gets older, it becomes increasingly more difficult to walk, to cook and to do so many other tasks alone. Therefore, some kind of assistance is required. For many, the solution is a caregiver.

If you’ve decided that would be the best option for your parent and you’d like a few tips on how to find someone who is professional, friendly and extremely trustworthy, here are five steps that will lead you to just the right individual.

Think about what you need the caregiver to do. Before doing anything else, it’s first important to think about what you actually need the caregiver to do. For instance, do you want them to sit with your parent for the purpose of keeping them company? Or, do you need the caregiver to cook, clean and run errands? Perhaps your parent has health issues and you’d like someone with medical expertise to assist you. Knowing what you’d like the caregiver to do beforehand will help you to know where and how to begin your search.

How To Find A Qualified Caregiver For Your Aging Parent

Determine if you want to go through an agency or not. There are pros and cons that come with going through an agency. On one hand, they tend to have people with qualifications that you are looking for. On the other, their rates tend to be a lot higher than if you were to hire someone through a classified ad or a personal referral. So, as you’re looking for the right person, using an agent or not is something else to think about.

Interview 3-5 different individuals. Even if you do happen to hear about an agency that has great reviews or a family member or friend refers someone to you, it’s still a good idea to interview 3-5 potential candidates. That way, you can get a feel for their personality and their demeanor so that you can be sure to select the perfect fit.

Make sure they can provide credentials and referrals. Say that you happen to live in the Los Angeles area and you’re strongly considering hiring someone from the A Better Way in Home Care because you heard that you could get a quality caregiver there. Although word of mouth is great, still make sure that the company can offer you strong credentials and referrals for the caregivers that you are considering. If you’re curious to know what kind of credentials a lot of professional caregivers have, go to Caregiver Needed. In the “Frequently Asked Questions” section, there is an area entitled “What kinds of credentials should I look for in a caregiver?” There is detailed information provided there.

Have your parent interact with them too. Although you are the one who is responsible for hiring the caregiver, once they are chosen, they’re going to be spending the most time with your parent. That’s why, during the final interview, it’s also important that your parent is able to personally interact with the individual. That way, you can see if they have a good rapport and will work well together. Good luck on your search!