Just like any big decision, this requires time, effort, and research. This article will help you take the first steps in interviewing live in carers. We will tell you what aspects of a live in carer matter during the first meeting with them and which of these will have an impact on their time with you or your loved one. This information will help you judge whether they are the right fit for you or to keep looking.We’re here to help.

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What attributes should I look for in a live in carer?

Essentially, these questions revolve around the usual ‘getting to know you’ phase in any new relationship. Hometouch already has a rigorous screening process which includes things like reference checks, induction, and training, but in the end, you are in charge of judging which kind of person you want around you.

To assist you in making the best match possible and increasing the chances of a successful relationship, we have put together a few carer interview questions to consider asking when interviewing a potential live-in carer. These may also help a carer on how to prepare for a carer interview.

1. What made you become a live-in carer?

This is a great ice breaker for any job interview. The motivation and drive of the carer matters in this situation. Not only so you can judge how they are as a person but it also to understand how dedicated they are to their chosen profession. This question will allow you to analyse the likely quality of care the will provide and if your needs will be met after hiring them.

You should look for a sincere response and a genuine interest in this field of work. Furthermore, the candidate will be ideal if they feel like they were ‘made for this job’. This will show you they already possessed all the qualities needed to be a good carer instead of putting up a front around you.

2. What is your Caring Speciality?

If you browse through our carer search, you will find that there are many types of carers, each with a different skillset ideal for different clients and situations.

If you find that you suffer from some specific condition, whether it be physical or mental you may want to look into a specialised carer. This brings us to the question. Asking the carer what they consider their speciality will help you judge whether they will be the right fit for you. You may ask if they have prior experience with these conditions and any related qualifications they have.

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You can even enquire if they are willing to enlist in programs that will help them specialise in the care of your condition.

3. Do you identify as a quiet or talkative person?

This may seem like a trivial or upfront question but you should realise the importance. This question will help you gauge whether they will be a pleasant person to be around depending on your personality. If you find you like peace and quiet and prefer your own company over others, you may want them to be quiet or introverted. However, if one of the main reasons you are hiring a carer is because you want company and a friendly face around the house who is always ready to chat, you should look for a more extrovert person.

However, sometimes it may not be so clearcut as this and experienced carers are often skilled in adapting to any type of person. So don’t let this be the ‘make or break’ question.

4. What do you do in your spare time?

This is just an additional question to get to know the carer better. What kind of things they are interested in and whether they like to discuss such information with their clients will also show you what kind of fit they are.

That said, a lack of interesting hobbies should not be a make or break issue. But the advantage may be that you and the carer share a hobby that can help you pass some time. This may include activities like playing the pan, playing chess, reading books. This is especially beneficial if you are no longer able to participate in such activities because of a debilitating condition.

5. How often will you evaluate and update your care plan?

This question will allow you to have a deeper look into the agency the carer is working for. A good agency realises the importance of the ever-changing nature of a written care plan. A care plan needs to be under constant evaluation and that can only happen if the carer themselves are fully interested in the client. A good carer will notice any decline in health or behaviour and note it down. Not only this, but they will also have an action plan to address such a situation.

6. What is your approach for contacting family members?

This is a step included in the carer’s plan of action. It is important to assess whom they are intending to reach out to if an urgent situation arises. On the flip side, it may be useful to have your carer report to someone else besides just you. You can even suggest some immediate family members that you prefer to keep in the loop.

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Carers tend to know that their role extends to being a link between family members and yourself. This is why our carers are skilled in keeping an open line of communication at both ends. Furthermore, our carers also report to us at regular intervals.

7. Can you give me an example of how you deal with a stressful situation?

A role play assignment will help you judge whether the carer is skilled enough for the task at hand. Of course, most carers can handle trivial disruptions which is why your role play scenario should include a difficult or stressful situation. Ask the live in carer how they would handle such a situation and if they would need help from someone else to handle it.

8. What kind of food can you cook?

This is a useful question if you are planning to have your live in carer cook for you. The question not only judges the ability to cook but the extent of the ability too. You should know if they can only make some items or be able to provide meals three times a day. And if they can, can they adjust their recipes to your standard of living or not.

Sometimes a carer is only familiar with one cuisine therefore sharing your preference is also an important thing to get out of the way.

The bottom line is that you need someone compatible with you because of course a live-in carer has to spend an extended amount of time with you in your own home. Their presence must make you feel at ease and their company must match yours. These are just some of the questions that will help you in achieving that.

Dr Jamie WilsonFounder and Chief Medical Officer at Hometouch

Dr Jamie Wilson is hometouch’s founder and Chief Medical Officer. Jamie’s creation of hometouch was inspired by his work as a dementia psychiatrist in the NHS, and he has written about healthcare issues in The Times and the Evening Standard. Jamie has a MBBS from the University of Leeds and has spent a decade in the NHS, working as a Psychiatric Registrar and Memory Specialist at Imperial College Hospital.

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