Green Acres Manor Residential Care Home, Kenwood, CA
9020 Sonoma Highway, Kenwood, CA 95452    |    Phone: (707) 833-1171    |    Fax: (707) 833-2341    |    License #496801812

Screening In-Home Elder Care Providers in Sonoma County, California

How to interview potential in-home Elder Care service providers you are considering for the care of your loved one.

Your two options when it comes to in-home elder care workers

If you have determined that the type of care the elder person in your life requires is at-home care, you have two choices when it comes to finding an assistant. You may either choose to hire a home health worker directly or you may choose to go through an agency. If hiring a person directly, you might benefit from first contacting the following local agency to see if they have any references for trusted home health care workers in Sonoma County:

Sonoma County Area Agency on Aging
2250 North Point Parkway
P.O. Box 4959, CA 95402
Santa Rosa, CA 95407
(707) 565-5900

Your other options would be to look at offers of help being given in the classified section of the Press Democrat, or other local paper, or to go on-line and search community job boards like those featured on www.craigslist.org. At craigslist, you can post a help wanted-type advertisement, describing what you need and asking workers to email you with their qualifications which you can consider prior to making an interview appointment with them. *We strongly urge you not to post your phone number on craigslist. Simply make use of the 'anonymous' email address they route responses through to your email inbox.

Once you have gathered a list of candidates, it is time to begin interviewing them.

What to ask when interviewing a home healthcare worker

  • What is the worker's professional background in their work in the elder care field?
  • Do they have degrees, certified training or other professional qualifications? Ask to view documentation.
  • What types of services do they provide? What hours are they available?
  • What is their backup plan in case of illness? Who will take over their duties if they are absent?

Take note of the personal grooming, attentiveness and interest level of each candidate. Do they ask you questions about the elder person's health and needs? Do they ask what will be expected of them? Be sure to obtain at least 3 references from each candidate from other families whose loved ones they have cared for.

Following up on the references is a vital part of the interview process. Be sure to ask the contact family what their experience was with the health care worker and what the duration of it was. What was the elder person's experience? Was there ever any incident which caused concern?

Because the comfort, health and safety of your loved one is at stake, we advise you to consider conducting a criminal background check on any healthcare worker you might intend to hire. For the same reasons, it is wise to also perform a sexual offender background check. Once you have hired the elder care service provider of your choice, you should remain attentive to their performance of their duties. Whether they come to your home or to the home of your loved one to administer care, plan to make a few unannounced visits during their hours of service to see how things are going. Because elder abuse is a reality in today's world, and because many elder people do not communicate that they are being abused either because they are unable to or because they feel afraid or ashamed, you know that you will be your loved one's best guardian in ascertaining that the worker is professional and trustworthy.

When hiring a home healthcare worker through an agency

Going through an agency will take some of the work off of the family's hands by providing a list of pre-screened employees for consideration. However, it is still important for the family to conduct interviews to ascertain the fitness of the candidates for the work involved. Be sure to ascertain whether the agency performs criminal and sexual offender background checks on its employees. Ask to see proof of this. If the agency does not provide this service, you will, again, wish to consider having this done yourself. All of the above questions should be asked during the interview, and references should be thoroughly checked. Make those unannounced visits to secure your peace of mind, and be sure to treat the health care worker with the courtesy and appreciation they deserve for their assistance to you in this important work.

What type of worker you need to hire depends upon the elder person's specific needs. The need may be for personal assistance with daily living, running errands, providing transportation, or giving medicines. Home health care workers may include licensed nurses or hospice workers. You will find a more detailed description of the types of home health care workers in our article: Types of Elder Care available in Sonoma County, California

 
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9020 Sonoma Highway, Kenwood, CA 95452 | Phone: (707) 833-1171 | Fax: (707) 833-2341 | License #496801812
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