Good Questions to Ask

Is there a list of questions you use when you’re hiring an aide? I want to be sure that the aide can handle all of the different elder care challenges.

Barbara in New York, 61

I use the Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) listed below to interview an aide so we’re both clear about the elder’s needs. This way, both the aide and I are in agreement as to what activities and tasks will need to be performed. Once hired, I also ask the aide to write in a daily log or use this list as a check-off so it’s clear what was accomplished each and every day.

Go over all details with the aide to ensure that he/she knows how to assist with every task listed below. Note that they’re listed alphabetically, not in order of importance, and that additional tasks may be needed for your elder.

Personal Care

Assist with bath: in bed or in a shower or tub

Assist to bathroom and with toileting: bedpan, commode, and urinal

Assist with dressing, putting on or laying out clothes

Encourage the consumption of fluids per doctor’s recommendation

Feeding assistance, including the use of adapted equipment and self feeding

Foot care assistance, including training in podiatry

Hair care, including beauty products, brushing, and the beauty parlor/barber

Incontinence care

Nail care

Oral care/denture care

Shaving assistance

Skincare assistance

Activities

Assist with ambulation

Assist with range of motion, only with the advice of doctor or therapist

Assist with transfer in and out of chair

Attention to bed rails, which should be up at all times that elder is in bed

Commitment to providing recreation, both in the home, and the community

Homemaking Assignments

Clean bathrooms, bedrooms, and kitchens

Grocery shop

Laundry

Light housekeeping such as making and changing bed

Prepare meals

A senior’s needs may change on a daily basis, so the aide needs to clearly understand what’s expected of him/her. You also must know if the aide has the training, education, and expertise to carry out these ADLs.

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