Directory of Helping Services | How to find a Caregiver

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Where to start?

Talk with friends or family to see they know someone they would recommend.

Go to the caregiver directory  to search for one with the features you are looking for.


Should I hire from an agency or an independent caregiver?

Points  to consider-

When hiring from a home care agency

  • Ask the agency if they have any screening or required credentials for caregiving staff
  • Backup care is more easily available if the caregiver is sick
  • Concerns and complaints may be  handled by a supervisor at the agency
  • Much of the paperwork for hiring, scheduling and payment is taken care of by the agency. 
  • You will need to manage your own accounting to determine co-pays not covered by insurance.
  • Tend to be a more expensive option
  • There tends to be less flexibility about the hours a caregiver will work
  • Less choice on which specific caregiver you receive

When hiring a self-employed homecare provider:

  • You may  need to find, check references and determine what credentials you may want with the caregiver
  • You may need to organize backup care yourself if necessary
  • You need to bring up complaints or concerns directly with the caregiver
  • You are in charge of much of the hiring, scheduling, accounting, co-payments payment and the paperwork included, such as taxes or social insurance, depending on your caregiver agreement
  • Tend to be a more affordable option
  • More ability to negotiate about what times care is needed and for how long
  • You have total control on who you hire, and if the caregiver is a good fit for you and your loved one


How would I interview a potential caregiver?

You may start with a phone interview, but you should also meet the caregiver in person, and, have them meet your loved one as well. 
Examples of some good questions to ask a potential caregiver are:

  • What previous experience do you have as a caregiver, and what was that like?
  • What specialised training do you have?
  • Can you describe a typical day on the job with your last client?
  • Have you ever spotted a medical problem in a client before the family or doctor has noticed? Tell me about that situation.
  • What is your favourite and least favourite part of being a caregiver?

Make some observations during your interview-

  •  Does the caregiver interact with you and your loved one in a respectful and calm manner?
  • Does your loved one seem at ease and comfortable?
  • Is there easy flow of conversation between you all?  You want the personality and communication style to match for best success.
  • Describe and give detail of the requirements and responsibilities you are expecting from a caregiver to be sure you and the caregiver have the same expectations. 
    Find more of the potential requirements and responsibilities on the Sample Client and Home Care Provider Agreement


How do I screen a potential caregiver?

Caregivers or home care agencies that are registered with the ADS home care providers registry -posted on the Helping Services Looking for a Caregiver page have had criminal record checks, and have met minimal requirements depending on the type of caregiver. See  Home Care Provider FAQs for more details.

Should I ask for references?

Yes and check them, , even if a good friend is recommending someone. Basic questions such as:

  • Was the caregiver caring and respectful?
  • Did the care meet the care recipient’s needs and expectations?
  • Was the caregiver timely and clear in communicating any health or behaviour changes or concerns to family or physician?
  • Was the caregiver reliable in coming when scheduled?
  • Did you have any concerns about your person’s safety or belongings?


Should I have a trial period?

 it is good to have a short term try out period to make sure that they are a good fit for you and your loved one. During this time it can be useful to drop by at least a few times unannounced, so that you can verify that the caregiver is doing everything they said they would, and things are going well.