Hiring a Caregiver - Step 2: Write a Job Description

Once you have identified the types of help you need, writing a job description can be fairly straightforward. In addition to including the tasks you have identified from your assessment, be sure to include the following when and if appropriate:

  • Health care training (what level and what type - CNA, LVN, RN)
  • Driving (car needed or only valid driver's license)
  • Ability to lift care recipient and/or operate special equipment
  • Experience with people with memory impairments and/or other disabilities
  • Language skills
  • Any other special skills needed

At this point, you have the option of hiring an individual or going through a home care or home health care agency. In some states, publicly- funded programs may allow you to hire another family member to assist you in providing care at home.

In deciding what kind of provider to choose, consider the following:

Home Care Agency


  • Screening, hiring/firing, pay and taxes are handled by the agency. (Note: There are also some agencies that will handle the paperwork (taxes, social security, etc.) if you hire a home care worker on your own.
  • If the worker is sick, a substitute can be sent.
  • Can provide individuals with a variety of skills to meet varying needs (e.g., skilled nursing care, physical therapy, occupational therapy, etc.).
  • May be partially covered by Medicaid or private insurance.


  • Often several workers are used which can be confusing or distressing for the person receiving care.
  • Less individual choice in workers.
  • More expensive than privately hiring an individual.

Privately Hired Home Care Worker


  • A strong one-on-one relationship can develop between the worker and the person receiving care, although this can also happen through an agency when there is a commitment to continuity.
  • Usually less expensive than going through an agency.
  • You get to choose the person you think will be the best to provide care to your loved one.


  • If the home care worker is sick, no substitute is readily available.
  • Screening, hiring/firing, pay and taxes must be handled by you.
  • May not be covered by Medicaid or private insurance.

​Source: caregiver.org

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