How to Hire a Caregiver for an Aging Parent When You Live Far Away

by Paige Estigarribia

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When we begin to realize that an aging parent may need care, the distance between parent and child can be a barrier to finding caregiving. We wanted some tips on how to hire a caregiver for an aging parent when you live far away, so we reached out to Michelle LaRowe Conover, the editor-in-chief of Here's what she had to say:

Q: What are some signs you can look for to know that your aging parent needs a caregiver?

Ms. LaRowe Conover: It's not surprising that aging parents like their independence and resist change. Unfortunately, that means sometimes they need more help than they are willing to admit. If you notice that your parents are having health issues, are becoming forgetful with things like taking their medication, aren't able to do what they used to do and are frustrated by that, or are having difficulty keeping up their home and/or self-care, they may benefit from having a senior companion.

Q: If you are looking for an in-home caregiver, what are some things you should check?

Ms. LaRowe Conover: You should always know who you are hiring to care for your aging parents. Interviews, reference checks, and background checks are helpful information gathering tools to help you make an educated and informed hiring decision. You always want to consider the individual's work history, motivation for providing care, and how her personality may mesh with that of your parents. It's really important to be thoughtful and intentional when making such a big decision.

Q: What is the best way to find a trustworthy caregiver if you live out of town, away from your parent?

Ms. LaRowe Conover: Regardless of how you find a caregiver, it's essential that you properly screen potential applicants. With technology, you can recruit, conduct interviews, run background and reference checks, and hire someone without ever leaving your home. Ideally, you'd also have someone local that could do an interview with potential providers and serve as an advocate for your aging parent. You can also turn to a reputable caregiver placement agency in their area or yours to conduct a search for you.

Q: Are there resources available to help children find caregivers easily when they live far away?

Ms. LaRowe Conover: Websites like GoNannies give you access to caregivers seeking senior companion positions. You can search by your hiring criteria to find potential matches. You can also contact the local council on aging where your parents reside to get local resources.

Q: What are some things that children often forget to do when they live far away and are searching for caregivers for a parent?

Ms. LaRowe Conover: It can be really tempting to take the lead and hire a provider without including the parents in the process. While you may be taking control of the search, it's important to include your parents in the process as much as they are able to be included. This includes having input on who is hired, as they are the ones who will be spending time with the provider.

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thousands of dollars on the table
by taking Social Security
at the wrong time? Find out.

Hiring a caregiver for a parent can be a stressful experience, especially if you live out of town. Hopefully, these tips will help you with your caregiver decisions.

Michelle LaRowe is the editor-in-chief of, your go-to source for finding nannies and caregivers. By providing free background checks, online references, live support, and the professional hiring kit, helps clients and providers find the right match.

Paige Estigarribia is a writer for The Dollar Stretcher who enjoys writing about food, frugal living, and money-saving tips. Visit Paige on Google+.

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