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There are many things you need to know about hiring an in-home caregiver. Hiring someone to take care of your loved one is not as easy as you may think.

Many people hire independent caregivers, but that is not the safe route to take. “When you hire an individual-private home health aide/caregiver-you are the employer and liable for any work-related injuries that occur on the job,” said Operations Manager Robert Bicanic, of the Northbrook-based Senior Helpers office serving the north and northwest suburbs.

“But, most importantly...who is the person you are hiring? What kind of safety checks are you conducting?”

Before Senior Helpers sends caregivers to work with their clients, it makes sure fingerprints have been taken and sent to the Illinois State Police, and that the individual for this work has no criminal convictions. The person must also be listed in the IDPH Caregiver Registry. In addition, the agency reviews the Sexual Abuse Registry, the Medical Fraud & Abuse Registry and checks the national criminal database. It is also important to confirm their Social Security number and driver’s license as well.

Knowing these legal checks have been conducted by Senior Helpers should give you peace of mind.

Still, when you are presented with someone to work for your loved one, from an agency consider asking these questions:

  • Will someone come out to my home for the initial assessment and prepare a written care plan?
  • Will someone come out with the caregiver to introduce us?
  • Please describe the training your caregivers undergo.
  • Once you have placed a caregiver in the home is there ongoing training and supervision?
  • Do all your caregivers read, write and speak English clearly?
  • What is your replacement policy if the caregiver doesn’t make it to my home?
  •  Do you bond and insure your caregivers?
  • Are the caregivers your employees, not mine?
  • If I need to contact you after normal working hours will I be able to reach someone for immediate assistance?
  • What happens if we decide we want a new caregiver?
  • May I see testimonials from your clients?
  • What professional senior care organizations do you belong to?

Finding the right caregiver for each client and the level of care that is needed is important. Senior Helpers offers a Free Assessment.

If you are concerned about the health of a friend or loved one and want to know what you can do to help them, please contact Robert Bicanic at Senior Helpers: 847-564-6500 or email him at or visit