Getting older is just a part of life. There is no way you can avoid it. Eventually your physical ability to be able to perform routine tasks may become significantly diminished. At some point it becomes untenable to continue doing your daily activities without some help. You will likely have to start looking to hire a competent caregiver for you or your elderly loved one.

However, finding a good professional caregiver may not be exactly straightforward. There are many caregivers who are not competent and may lack certain qualities that you personally desire such as being compassionate. Therefore, it is important that you properly vet caregiver candidates. The following are some things to consider in your search for the best caregiver for your situation.

Figure out your particular needs

The first thing you need to do is determine the specific needs of your particular situation. Which tasks you will need help with will depend upon the cognitive and physical abilities of you or your elderly loved one. Certain elderly individuals will need more assistance than others. Another thing to keep in mind is that an elderly person’s needs will increase as he or she gets older. Some of the more extensive requirements may include substantial medical needs such as numerous medications that need to be administered or even continuous monitoring of intravenous fluid treatment.

Have prepared questions for interviews

Interviewing candidates is an essential tool for you to determine which caregivers might be a good fit and which ones you should avoid. Consult the list of personal needs and requirements you had created and use these items to prepare the questions for the interviews. Make sure to inquire beyond just experience and knowledge directly related to caregiving. You will also want to design questions that may reveal more about a candidate’s personality as well. This will ensure the potential caregiver is the right fit.

Verify applications

Prior to hiring any candidate be sure to have them fill out a job application in which he or she lists previous employers and professional references. Call the references and previous employers to verify that the caregiver has the skills necessary for your needs. Also perform as complete of a background check as possible.

Do a trial run

You may want to consider proposing a trial run once you have found an acceptable candidate. This will allow you to determine by experience if the chosen caregiver is the right fit for your situation and preferences. The trial run can last anywhere from a few days to a week or two. This can actually be beneficial for both the elderly person and the caregiver, since the employment situation should be acceptable to both parties in order to ensure the arrangement will last as long as needed.

Comprehensive retirement and estate planning

Of course, choosing the best caregiver for your situation is of the utmost importance. However, there are many other important issues that elderly individuals will need to take a look at beyond just their physical and medical care. Good family financial planning is required to maintain the quality of life you desire during your retirement years. Also, do not forget to create a comprehensive estate plan.