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Hiring a Caregiver – Step 1: Assess Needs

Updated: Oct 6, 2022

A number of options are available for finding help at home. It is often best to start by assessing both your needs as a caregiver and the needs of the person you are caring for. There are a variety of checklists to help you evaluate what types of help are needed. In general, consider the following areas:

  1. Personal Care: bathing, eating, dressing, toileting

  2. Household Care: cooking, cleaning, laundry, shopping

  3. Health Care: medication management, physician’s appointments, physical therapy

  4. Emotional Care: companionship, meaningful activities, conversation

It is also important to evaluate the values and preferences of the person receiving care. He or she may be more comfortable with a home care worker who shares his or her cultural background and/or language. The care recipient may also have a preference between male and female caregivers, particularly if the worker will be helping with personal care. (For more information, see the Family Caregiver Alliance (FCA) Fact Sheet Making Choices About Everyday Care.)

This assessment may also enable you to include alternative (and possibly less expensive) approaches to care such as adult day care, friendly visiting services, home grocery delivery, pharmacy delivery services and meals-on-wheels programs. (For more information on these and other services, see the FCA Fact Sheet Community Care Options.)


A number of checklists are available to help in evaluating what types of help are needed. Here are two good ones:

  1. Needs Assessment Worksheet from Family Care America available at or (804) 342-2337

  2. Helping My Parents: How Do I Know If They Need Help, available from AARP.




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