Some seniors living at home are no longer able to drive a vehicle due to health or other conditions. If you are currently in charge of taking care of an elderly parent or if your senior relative is living alone far from any nearby family members, special arrangements should be made to ensure that the senior gets where she/he needs to go.
At some point, it may be necessary to hire a qualified caregiver to drive your senior around town attending to doctor appointments, going to the grocery store or running other necessary errands.
There are community based transportation services that focus on driving elderly to appointments. Alternately, it’s possible to hire a driver for your own car or the care recipients. If planning on hiring a caregiver for in home help, driving the elder around could be added to the job description duties.
Many private caregivers for elderly individuals also will do personal errand jobs like getting groceries, driving to the hair salon, getting the care recipient to social events or transporting the person to healthcare appointments.
Individuals looking for caregivers who can also handle personal errand jobs should consider following some recommended tips to ensure that the hired person is the best one for the job. This helps to determine if the person has the necessary skills, character traits and safe driving background needed before being hired.
Some tips for hiring a driver include:
1. Inquire About Their Driving Record & Take Notes
When interviewing caregivers for the elderly person in your household, ask if they also have held any elderly transportation jobs or if they are interested in driving elderly jobs now. Directly inquire about the prospective caregiver’s past and current driving record and take notes of what they say.
Ask specific driving experience and driver’s record information like how many traffic tickets have they ever gotten, have there been any reckless driving or DUI incidents and were they ever in an automobile accident when they were driving.
It is wise to also inquire about any health conditions they may have or prescription drugs they are taking that could affect their driving ability. Let your inner gut feeling drive you when going through this interview process.
2. Get & Check Actual Current DMV Driving Record
Contact the DMV and request the actual current DMV driving record for the prospective caregiver and senior driver. Compare this record to what the person said in their interview to see if there are any discrepancies or other alarm bells like drunk driving incidents, reckless driving charges and so forth. Remember that your state’s DMV record only applies to that state, and a person could have a troublesome driving record in another state that would not come up.
3. Ascertain Whose Car (Yours, Care Recipients, Caregivers) Will Be Driven
It is important to ascertain whose car will be driven. This could be your personal car or your senior relative’s own vehicle. If the caregiver’s car will be used, it is crucial to check the condition of the car and whether all of the necessary car inspections were passed, whether the person has an up-to-date driver’s license, car license plate information and the required car insurance coverage.
Get and make copies of any documents regarding caregiver liability insurance and other details. If you decide to hire a driver for your own car, you will need to provide caregiver insurance coverage information proof to your car insurance agent.
Generally, senior citizens caregivers who have also held other personal errand jobs or have had previous caregiver jobs driving seniors to appointments with good driving references from those employers will likely be a good job candidate.
4. Compile & Ask Situational-Styled Questions Related to Driving with Care Recipient
Rather than only inquiring about general job experience, compile a list of relevant situational-styled questions related to driving with the care recipient. Come up with scenarios that reflect your senior’s current health and mental status, and use open-ended questions that reveals more than yes/no responses.
Some possible questions to ask the caregiver include:
- What would you do if the senior becomes combative and takes off her seat belt when you are driving
- How will you handle a situation where the elder angrily refuses to get into the car with you
- Imagine if the senior has a bladder accident while in your car
- Suppose the elder complains of being too uncomfortable in your vehicle
- Do you get distracted or angry when people talk to you while driving
- What would be your reaction if the senior presses you to drive faster because they will be late to their appointment otherwise
- If the elder is taking too long in the doctor’s office would you stay and wait or come back later
- Suppose it snows earlier than expected and you haven’t taken the senior to the bank yet to withdraw money for a weekend social event
Today, there are more jobs driving seniors to appointments websites that senior citizens caregivers are likely to frequent. Families can also add their advertisement listing for a private elderly caregiver needed or family planning on hiring a driver to community message boards and other job related platforms, online websites and with the local unemployment and job search office.
5. Take a Trial Test Drive with Caregiver Driving
When in the process of hiring a caregiver for in home help who will also be responsible for elderly transportation jobs should also pass a trial test drive before the final decision is made. This is the best way to ensure that the person being considered for the job has the necessary driving skills and personal character to act professionally when driving your senior around.
Always ask to see the caregiver liability insurance documents, or go over rules for caregiver insurance coverage that you will expect if the person will be under your car insurance.
6. Set & Discuss Concise, Clear & In-Depth Ground Rules for Driving
It is very important to set and discuss concise, clear and in-depth ground rules that are related to driving. This can help insure that the caregiver fully understands what will be expected. There are some general rules that are highly recommended by home healthcare experts, and families can adapt these rules to suit their personal needs and expected job duties.
Some rule ideas for driving could include:
- Nobody else in car without advance permission
- No driving after dark
- No using cell phones or other devices to text or talk while driving
- Must wear seat-belts including passengers
- No personal errand runs unless cleared by family ahead of time
- Music permitted & type or sound levels should be determined
- No smoking inside car
- Limitations on where to drive – avoid high crime areas etc.
If unsure how to find qualified caregivers for the elderly able to provide additional transportation services, take out an ad on job posting sites. Private elderly caregiver needed should suffice, or join individuals looking for caregivers with experience driving elderly to appointments social media business sites.
Many private caregivers for elderly would be willing to answer driving elderly jobs listing ads if the pay is good or the schedule is flexible.
Visit https://www.inhomecare.com for information.