When looking for a care worker, the question at the forefront of most people’s minds is ‘how will this care worker get along with the person needing care?’ Particularly, if the person needing care has been quite resistant to having a carer in their home.

Without a crystal ball, this can be a hard question to answer. However, you can get a good sense of the person by making a few inquiries and asking a few relevant questions.

Questions to ask during the interview

When interviewing the care worker ask them all, or some, of the following questions:

  • Why did you become a carer?
  • What do you like most about caring?
  • What do you think makes a good carer?
  • If you needed a carer what would you like them to be like?
  • What do you enjoy doing when you are not working?

These questions will give you a sense of the person’s interests, their approach to caring and the type of attitude they have towards the people they care for.To get a sense of the care worker you can also:

Ask for Referees

Follow up with referees and ask them really specific questions.For example ‘my mother likes things done in a particular way, how do you think the carer will manage this?’

Include the person needing care

Include the person needing care in the decision making process, as much as possible. Let them meet with all the carers you are considering or at the very least the person you think is most right for the role.

Start with a trial period

Consider putting in place a trial period. For example, before a live-in moves in, make sure they come over for tea a few times. Like all good relationships, the relationship between a carer and the person they are caring for may take time to flourish. Doing your homework at the beginning will make this process easier.

Let the carer know about the personality of the care seeker

Manage expectations for the care worker – be honest about the person being cared for. Let the care worker know if they are difficult, stubborn, a little bit grumpy. This way the care worker won’t take it personally and are more likely to shrug off that kind of behaviour. It’s more important to be open and upfront at the beginning than to say nothing in the hope they will take the job regardless.

We’ve seen the most wonderful friendships formed between care workers and the people they care for. Often these friendships extend to the family members and the care worker becomes like part of the family.

Do you have any other tips for caring when trying to find the right care worker for someone in need? Perhaps you could share your experiences with others?

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