It can be sometimes difficult to find quality caregivers for residential care homes, also called personal care homes. A quality caregiver should be someone who provides daily activities for the residents, show initiative and quick response, demonstrate sound judgement and provide confident care.
Hiring a caregiver at times can be a little overwhelming. There are many issues to consider before opening the classifieds, calling caregiver agencies, and searching the Internet for independent contractors. Since this is stepping into unknown territory, it’s a good idea to leverage word of mouth referrals from family members and friends. Knowing what to do, how to do it, and when to do it is a huge part of finding a quality caregivers for residential care homes. With that said, here are three suggestions to help find quality caregivers for a residential care homes.
Caregiver Agencies – Hiring caregiver agencies can be expensive, but a lot of them are bonded and insured. It is important to ask the agency if they provide employees to do the work. Some agencies recruit caregivers looking for work from a referral list and do not perform background checks before hiring them. Reputable agencies ensure their caregivers pass criminal background checks, screening for communicable diseases, and are trained in CPR and first aid. However, if the caregiver does not work out, you can request a replacement. Also, agency CNAs may have nurses assigned to the residential care home to ensure that policies and procedures are being followed. Remember, you are hiring quality caregivers for a 24/7 operation. Bottom line, it takes money, time, and energy to provide consistent, high-quality care to your residents. It should not be something you enter into lightly.
Independent Contractor – This may be more affordable, but be careful! Find out if the caregiver has a current certified nursing assistant license. This will ensure the person can provide basic care for your residents. Also, perform a criminal background check and verify the caregiver’s references. If everything seems legitimate, ask family members to sit in during the interview to confirm they feel comfortable with this person before caring for your special loved one. One thing you can do is call CNA schools to get staff members. CNA schools are always looking to place their qualified students in externships, temporary and permanent jobs.
In-Home Respite Care Services – It is vitally important to take care of yourself as you take care of your residents and loved ones. Plan your relief by assessing your needs. Some of these might include personal free time during the day to run errands, transporting residents, or daily activities (e.g., cooking, cleaning, laundry, etc.). Some caregiver agencies offer this service to provide temporary or regular support to caregivers that work a 24/7 schedule. Other forms of nonmedical respite breaks can be provided by family, friends, neighbors and volunteers from local retirement groups. Also consider college-bound students that need to fulfill community service hours, faith-based and non-profit organizations to cover short, nonmedical in-home intervals.
Do You Want the Best Caregivers? – Are you comfortable with the people representing your brand? Are these people exceeding your expectations when it comes to implementing your systems, policies and procedures? Do you feel confident that your residents are receiving the best 24/7 care possible every single day? Now that you know how to find a quality caregiver, when are you going to spend the time, money, and energy to do it? Who is responsible to ensure that your residents are receiving the highest standard of care? Each caregiver has a lasting impact on your business, your residents, and your bottom line. Pick and choose wisely.
Sharman Lawson is the president and senior consultant at Care Consulting and Training, LLC. As a care home consulting firm, Care Consulting and Training, LLC has helped hundreds of people get licensed throughout the country using their customized products, services, training, and consulting programs. President, Sharman Lawson is the author of the book “12 Steps to Eliminate Debt Forever” and an e-book “The Blueprint to Start and Run a Personal Care Home.” Sharman Lawson has appeared and been featured in Money Magazine for Women, The Oregonian, Atlanta Live, Good Day Northwest, and other local and national media.