Top Questions to Ask Senior Caregivers

When arranging care for aging loved ones, it is perfectly natural to want to be absolutely sure that the potential caregiver is both qualified and compassionate enough to do a good job. There are certainly plenty of horror stories when it comes to hiring the wrong caregiver. This is the person entrusted with the well being of a close family member or loved one, so it is expected to have a thorough interview with them. Here are some of the best questions to ask during that interview:

Do you have an work experience in caregiving?

Begin the interview with a broad question like this one to get a general sense of the person’s prior experience and skills. Look for positions that demonstrate the candidate’s ability to work independently without close supervision, as well as previous jobs that require high levels of skill, companionship, and caregiving.

What specifically makes you qualified for this position?

This is a classic question in the interviews of many industries which is no less applicable here. This is when the candidate will provide specific information about his or her training, as well as ability to perform tasks unique to your loved one’s situation, such as experience with bathing, feeding, dressing, cooking, cleaning, or lifting from a wheelchair to a toilet or bed. Make sure the candidate’s skillset is a good fit for the tasks he or she will be required to perform for your loved one.

Why are you interested in this type of work?

This is not really the industry for the types of people who just want to make a quick buck, but you may feel better hearing about the person’s intentions straight from the source. The ideal candidate enjoys working with the elderly, has a strong sense of compassion, and a caring, nurturing personality. If you know that your loved one has unique personality traits or can be difficult, you’ll want to look for compatible personality traits and patience in his or her caregiver. They need to get along.

Are you comfortable dealing with my loved one's current state?

This question could cover a range of mental and physical conditions, so you’ll need to be specific with the interviewee. Let them know if your loved one is prone to anger, silence, sadness, moodiness, and memory problems, so that the potential caregiver will have an accurate idea of what day to day life on the job will be like.

Can you provide references?

References are a great way to get a good sense of a candidate’s abilities and approach to caregiving. They should provide at least two references along with contact details. If possible, call or visit with these references to discuss the candidate and get a feel for his or her caregiving style and how that might fit with your loved one’s needs.