Aging on its own can be very humbling, but deciding that a caregiver is needed can be a difficult decision to make.   Selecting the right caregiver for your needs can be daunting and overwhelming.

A caregiver is responsible for caring for the well-being of others. To help make selecting the right caregiver for your current and future needs consider the following items:

  1. Research the different types of caregivers

caregiver-liscensing-definedEach caregiver approaches their job different depending on their education and background.  Therefore, selecting the correct caregiver specialist is very important.  It is often very easy to get confused when seeing applicants that seem to have the same or very similar education.  See the chart below to see what each credentialing stands for.


  1. Interview potential caregivers.

Your caregiver needs to be someone who is compassionate, patient, and show empathy.  The best way to find if they have those traits is to interview them.  Trust is very important when selecting a caregiver. Tailor your interview questions to discovering their work experience and their overall disposition.

Some sample questions to ask:

  • What type of patients do you usually care for? And, what type of assistance have your clients typically needed?
  • Have you ever cared for someone with the following (list conditions related to you or your loved one’s needs, such as memory problems, wheelchair-bound, etc.)?
  • Ask them sample scenarios: What if my mother falls, seems confused, doesn’t recognize you and won’t let you help her.  How would you respond?
  • Or, What if you have just returned from picking up a prescription for my father/mother and the pill is a different color (and different dosage) than their usual prescription.  How would you respond?
  1. Additional resources

For some, a private agency can be a good place to start.

Home Healthcare Services:

Care Advantage:

Visiting Angels:

Visiting Nurses:

Food Delivery Services:



Let’s Dish!:

Meals on Wheels:

Sources: Legg Mason’s “Aging and Its Financial Implications: Planning for Housing”; Photo via: