When you or someone you love needs extra help to handle medical challenges or activities of daily life, bringing a caregiver into your home can be an essential way to get the support that you and your family need. Caregivers can work to support medical, physical, and emotional needs and can develop an authentic and intimate bond with those they care for and their family members.

At the Christopher Smith Foundation, we are dedicated to supporting the caregiving profession and appreciating those who excel. If you are hiring a caregiver, here are five things to keep in mind to help you navigate the process.


  1. Consider the type of care needed


Some people may need more advanced medical care, including the administration of medications or memory care. Other people may need the support of different types, including activities of daily living like dressing or bathing. Still, others may be able to handle those activities but need other types of care and support, like housekeeping assistance or driving and appointment-keeping. When looking for a caregiver, consider your loved one’s unique needs and look for someone who can help with those concerns.


  1. Involve your loved ones


Your loved one is the person who will develop the most intimate relationship with a caregiver. They should be involved in the process of finding and hiring a caregiver to the extent possible. It is important for the person receiving care to meet the caregiver and feel comfortable with them. Your presence can help ease the transition and foster the relationship that can flourish and blossom with time and care.


  1. Plan for your schedule and budget


Caregiving is a profoundly personal and emotional profession, but it is also a job that requires compensation. When you are considering hiring a caregiver, it is essential to plan for your budget. Look over your insurance policies to see what types of in-home care may be covered. This is also an excellent time to think about your scheduling options to consider the most important hours to have a caregiver present. Careful planning can help to minimize the stress associated with budgeting for care.


  1. Organize your search


When you are planning to hire a caregiver, you can search on your own and work with an agency. Agencies often handle the legalities and paperwork associated with vetting and paying a caregiver. However, you may get great recommendations from friends and family members who have worked with professional caregivers in the past. Make sure that you check to verify that anyone performing specialized services has the licenses and certifications necessary to do so.


  1. Keep the lines of communication open

Hiring a caregiver is just the first step. Caregiving can be a uniquely special type of professional relationship, and open communication is particularly important to developing a healthy, supportive framework for care. Check-in with your loved ones and the caregiver and discuss concerns openly and honestly. Clear communication can help to prevent difficulties and foster an even closer relationship.

Caregivers can bring a great deal of much-needed support to you and your family. By keeping these tips in mind, you can help to enjoy a long-lasting, positive relationship with your caregiver.