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Finding Caregivers When There are No Home Care Agencies in Your Community

By: Clare Absher RN, BSN

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Families residing in less populated areas throughout the country often discover the difficulty and frustration of finding in-home care services. Discouraged families simply don't know where to turn when their rural communities have no home care agencies. Thus, if you are faced with this daunting task, it is vital to explore alternative ways to find care for your elderly loved ones.

Your county health and social services departments sometimes will offer in-home care services to their residents in rural areas. Regardless if they actually provide in-home care, it is a still a good place to start for gathering some practical information about services in your area.

Another valuable resource to tap into throughout the country and in your community is the Area Agencies on Aging. (AAAs) These agencies are tasked with helping older adults to age in place and those with disabilities to remain in their homes and communities.  Look up your local AAA chapter for help connecting your family with home care options in your community.

Adult Day Care Centers provide families in your community with care and support which can make them a useful source for suggestions. Seniors and employees at senior centers may also be familiar with methods other families have used to go about finding help. Find adult day care.

Privately hiring caregivers may be your best and only option in some rural areas. While it might not be your first choice, many families find it preferable due to lower costs and more control in the hiring process. In addition, hiring privately allows more freedom to choose caregivers regardless of certifications and licensures that may not be needed. One approach is to post your caregiver position in community newspapers, bulletin boards at post offices, pharmacies and markets. And be sure not to forget the oldest and often most surefire method of using “word of mouth” at some of the following locations.

  • Churches: Put the word out that you are in need of a caregiver at your church or your family, friends, and neighbor's churches. If you belong to a smaller church, ask if they might post a message in the weekly bulletin or make an announcement.
  • Community Colleges: Check to see if your local community college has a job posting board for students or a website page. Ask the program director of Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA) classes or Nursing schools to notify students in need of part-time work.
  • Health Professionals: Network with nurses, doctors, physical therapists, and social workers in your community that you or a friend might know.
  • Clubs and Organizations: Inquire among fellow members at fraternal and civic organizations, book, garden and athletic clubs, and support groups where you belong.

Often hiring family members such a daughter, son, niece, nephew or grandchild is a practical solution to meet caregiving needs. This approach can employ a family member and at the same time provide needed care to a loved one. In some areas, the Family Caregiver Support program overseen at local and state levels offers supplemental pay to family caregivers. Regardless of compensation, hiring a family caregiver can be an optimal solution to caregiving needs.

Many families turn to the internet for advertising caregiver job positions or browsing submitted resumes. The internet is an easy tool to reach out to many potential candidates that you otherwise would not be able to find.  However, remember that you are responsible for screening and interviewing these potential caregivers.  Background checks and licensure/certification verifications can be done online as well.

Search our caregiver resumes and / or post a job opening.