Choosing a Companion:
If you are hiring someone to come into your home, you will be an employer. It is recommended that employers thoroughly interview any potential worker.
The following questions may be helpful in preparing for the interview:
- What is the companion's experience in providing care? Does that experience meet your needs?
- Does the companion have training, certifications, or licenses related to care-giving?
- Does the companion have reliable transportation and car insurance if the companion is expected to provide transportation?
- How will the companion get to work should there be transportation problems?
- What are the recent work references of the companion (not friend or family references)?
You need to be aware of the following before the interview:
- Identify which specific tasks are expected to be performed by the companion. Know what your expectations are regarding the outcome of these tasks.
- Identify the specific days and hours of service required and the projected length of time; i.e., one week, three months, etc.
- Know what you are willing to pay the companion for the identified tasks.
- Know how often you will pay the companion; i.e., weekly, which day of the week or month, etc.
- Decide who will be responsible for tax withholding (state, federal, Social Security/FICA). For questions regarding taxes, contact your nearest Virginia tax office for guidance and forms.
- Will you offer benefits such as vacation and sick leave?
- Will you hire the person on a trial basis? If so, for how long?
- If the companion is providing care during a mealtime, will you be providing the companion a meal?
- Are there restrictions; i.e., no smoking in the home, no substitution of unauthorized companion, etc.?
Shop Around. Interview several individuals until you find a satisfactory match. It is important that both the employer and companion are comfortable with the work arrangement.
Put your work agreement in writing. It is best to put the work agreement in writing. Both you and the companion should have a signed copy of the completed agreement. Periodic reviews and updates are recommended to help keep the arrangement going smoothly.
This information is from the Fairfax County Companion Registry