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Nervous about calling caregiver references. Advice?
Posted: Tuesday, August 13, 2019 1:57 PM
Joined: 11/16/2018
Posts: 26

I'm going to check the references of someone who I think will be a great companion/caregiver for my mother, but I'm kinda nervous because I've never done this before and am not sure what to ask/talk about. The caregiver is qualified for the job, and I feel the reference calls will go smoothly, but does anyone have any advice as to what I should ask? What time to call these people? Etc? I get nervous on the phone, in general, so there's that too.

My mother still manages most of her ADL except driving. The caregiver would be slowly incorporated into my family as "a former coworker of mine," since Mom will most likely be highly resistant to the idea of a caregiver. I'm trying to get someone into her life other than my father (her primary) so that my father can have more breaks than he currently gets (and Mom thrives around other people, which makes life easier for everyone). And then as Mom progresses, the caregiver can start helping out with her ADLs as needed. Again, the caregiver is qualified for all this, I just need advice on how to navigate the reference calls. 

Thanks in advance!

Posted: Tuesday, August 13, 2019 3:08 PM
Joined: 4/1/2014
Posts: 4818

I ask questions first and them ask them to tell me what they think about the person in relation to their working with their own loved one.

My questions would be, how dependable was the person. Were they on time. Were they reliable. Did they work well with you and others. Did they have an attention to details? Were they gentle. Were they self motivated to do things for the loved one or did they have to be told what to do each day? Did you trust them in your home alone. Can you tell me a time they went above and beyond the call of duty.Would hire them again?

Good luck!

Posted: Tuesday, August 13, 2019 4:10 PM
Joined: 9/21/2017
Posts: 705

Two areas of concern- how will you check her driving record, car insurance status? When she drives on your behalf she is the employer's  agent. Second, criminal record. Can a private investigator help here?

Lesson learned hard way- got caregiver from large agency- they promised full background check- they didn't do anything-why:greed -- the person was a convicted felon.

 So, I use agencies still but demand they confirm the driving & background checks  were done in writing. Plus want vacation/sick day substitutes available.

The other thing- if references strangers to you- how do you know they aren't relatives /friends?

Yeah I sound paranoid but there are people that hide in these jobs. Maybe some one here has a referral to an easy way to do the background checks.

Posted: Wednesday, August 14, 2019 11:24 AM
Joined: 11/16/2018
Posts: 26

Great advice everyone! 

I'm running my own criminal and DMV background checks through And the caregiver, herself, emphasized the importance of doing background checks and installing nanny cams if the caregiver (whether it be her or anyone else) is to be in the house alone with my mother, so off the bat it appears that she is not trying to hide anything and is also very aware of the abuses that happen in elder care (but of course I'll do my own research as well).

And the questions suggested are just what I'm looking for. 

Thanks so much!

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