You and your aging parent have decided that aging in place is their best option; they need some assistance, but moving into a facility isn’t warranted. You’re able to help with some of their basic care, but you can’t be there as much as you’d like. You’ve decided to hire a caregiver, but where do you begin? This is a scenario that many children are faced with as their parents get older. But, unfortunately, they often don’t have experience interviewing and hiring people, they aren’t familiar with employment laws, and they’re not sure what qualities and experience they should be looking for in the person they hire. If you find yourself at this stage of caring for your parent, here are some tips to help you hire the right caregiver.

Decide what type of care your parent needs

You know that Mom or Dad needs assistance at home, but before you can hire a caregiver, you need to let individual candidates or agencies know how much and what kind of care your parent needs.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself to help you uncover their needs and be able to let potential caregivers know what their responsibilities will be:

  • Does your parent need help with activities of daily living, like bathing, dressing, eating, or using the restroom?
  • Do they need transportation?
  • Can they move independently, or do they need to be lifted?
  • Do they need help with housekeeping? If so, which tasks?
  • Does your parent have pets to care for?
  • Is your loved one experiencing dementia or cognitive decline?
  • Do they need companionship?
  • Do they need medical care?

Write out a job description with requirements

Based on the questions you’ve just answered, compose a job description you can share with independent aides or agencies. Agencies like ours, Seniors Prefer Homecare, can guide you through this process and provide you with additional questions.

The Family Caregiving Alliance (FCA) suggests including the following in your job description:

Preferred certification

Does your loved one require the services of a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), homemaker certification, etc.?

Driving needs

Will the caregiver use their vehicle or yours? If they use theirs, will you be providing mileage reimbursement? Remember to check with the DMV to confirm the status of their license and driving record.

Mobility assistance

Can they lift an adult from a bed and help them to a chair? Are they comfortable with stairlifts?

Language skills

Is their primary language the same as your loved ones? This is especially important if your parent is hearing impaired.


What types of tasks can they complete? If meal preparation is needed, what kinds of food can they cook?


Can they work a flexible schedule when necessary?


What time of day are they available? Are you looking for daytime, evening, or nighttime help?


How will you pay them – hourly, flat rate? Will you withhold taxes? What about insurance, holidays, and sick leave?


Will you provide meals for your caregiver, or should they bring their own?

Home care agency v/s independent caregiver

Now that you’ve listed what the needs of your loved one are and have developed a job description, you need to decide if you’re going to hire and manage a caregiver on your own or if you’re going to use the services of a professional home care agency.

Both options have their pros and cons. Seniors Prefer Homecare has been the preferred choice for hundreds of families in Huntsville and Tuscaloosa because:

  • All of our caregivers have passed background checks and screenings
  • We confi