How to Find a Caregiver in California

Insight & Tips for Hiring Home Care Providers

Finding the right home caregiver to help you or your loved one live safely and comfortably can be challenging, especially when you don’t know exactly where to look or look for in a home care provider. Here in California, there are several different programs that offer help for individuals with extraordinary home needs due to age or impairment. Programs like IHSS, WPCS, respite care and similar offer a variety of ways to fund the care you or your loved one requires. 

When searching for a caregiver, you’ll want to know what to look for in qualified providers, how to go about hiring one, and how to keep a healthy working relationship. This article is set up to help you get all of the answers you need and help you find the most qualified and compassionate in-home caregivers throughout California.

Exploring the Different Home Care Programs

In California, there are numerous ways to hire a caregiver. Recipients can pay out of pocket, which can become very expensive depending on the level of care and amount of time required. Most individuals or their loved ones will try to take advantage of one of the two most helpful programs for California residents which offer a high level of care for individuals with impairments, like In-Home Supportive Services or the Waiver Personal Care Services. While both programs offer similar solutions, it’s important to understand the difference between them.

In-Home Supportive Services

The In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) program providers in-home assistance to eligible aged, blind and disabled individuals as an alternative to out-of-home care and enables recipients to remain safely in their own homes. Over 520,000 IHSS providers currently serve over 600,000+ recipients throughout California. To learn how to apply for services visit Get IHSS Services.

Waiver Personal Care Services

Waiver Personal Care Services (WPCS) are services authorized by the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS). These services are both supportive and health related. They substitute for the absence, loss or impairment of a physical or cognitive function. 

Respite Care Services

Respite care provides short-term or temporary relief for primary caregivers. This program allows the primary caregiver to take a much-needed break from the demands of caregiving a sick, aging, or disabled family member. It can be arranged for just an afternoon, every day or for an extended period of time. Care can be provided at home, in the community and sometimes at healthcare facilities or day care centers.

The Best Ways to Find a Caregiver

In today’s society there are seemingly endless ways to connect with with people around the world, but for those searching for a qualified in-home caregiver the options become severely limited. This is mainly because most social networks available today do not specifically cater to the needs of those with extraordinary home care needs due to age or impairment. While there are platforms that exist to help people find generic help, there are few few outlets that making finding a caregiver easy and reliable. Here are a few of the best resources available.

  • IHSS Connect – This platform is a peer-to-peer marketplace that serves every city and county within California. They offer an expertly designed platform that connects IHSS, WPCS, respite and other care providers with recipients of all ages who require in-home care throughout the state. 
  • Relatives – Sometimes there’s no place like home. This is also true when looking for a reliable and trustworthy caregiver for yourself or your loved one. While not always an option, sourcing a caregiver from your own family can relieve a lot of stress due to the typical unknown variables of hiring a stranger. Search within your own circle of friends and family.
  • Social Media – Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the like are littered with people looking for work, but sifting through the crowd for a reliable caregiver can be a daunting task. Just the same, posting private health information and needs on these sites are not recommended as there is no expectation of privacy. These channels should be used as last resort options, at best.
  • Word of Mouth – Reach out to your neighbors and peers who have been in or are in similar situations, as it pertains to caregiver needs. Often, we can find recommendations for caregivers in the most unexpected places if we just ask the right questions. While hiring a family member is typically a great option, a close friend or neighbor vouching for an individual is another promising lead.
  • Social Workers – Hospitals and schools are great resources, as they typically have a social worker dedicated to the needs to the impaired. Often these helpful employees can offer leads, information and resources that can assist in finding the perfect caregiver.

Tips for Keeping a Good Working Relationship with Your Caregiver

Here are some helpful tips to help you keep your relationship between you and your caregiver happy:

  1. Make a schedule that you both agree to—and stick to it. If you must change up the schedule, make sure to give ample warning unless it’s an emergency. 
  2. Let the caregiver know how important they are to you. While it’s not necessary to remind them every day, it sure does help when a caregiver knows they are a welcomed and important part of you team.
  3. Approve timesheets in a timely manner. If you must approve timesheets for your provider, make sure that you don’t delay. While most caregivers love what they do and aren’t in it for the money, getting paid is part of the deal. Don’t wait to approve timesheets unless there is a mistake that needs to be corrected.
  4. Be honest about all care needs. When hiring a caregiver, make sure toilet them know exactly what you expect so that if you hire them, there aren’t any surprises that might cause them to unceremoniously quit.
  5. Be understanding. While emergencies should become the norm, if a provider is late or unable to show up due to a personal emergency, it’s best to be as supportive as possible. If no-shows due to “emergencies” become a regular issue, then it’s best to end the working relationship amicably and find a new caregiver.
  6. Stick to the plan. be sure to not ask your caregiver to do things that aren’t part of their job or require them spend their own money, unless there was an agreement made ahead of time between the both of you. What might seem like a small favor—go to the market, fill car with gas, pick up something at a store—could be a deal breaker for the caregiver, so be sure to be respectful of what you request during each work shift.
  7. Keep a clean and tidy home. Sometimes this is exactly why you need a caregiver, but for those that can keep their home more presentable and comfortable it can pay off by allowing you to retain your caregivers longer.
  8. Good manners. Yes, we all learned this back in elementary school, but it still holds true today. Treat the caregiver with respect and you’ll have a better chance at making your home a pleasant environment to work in every day.

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