Whether through an agency or asking around among your friends, church or temple, the chief, the most important consideration to pose to candidates for care giving hire, are to give you, the potential employer, three to four golden references. These should be in the form of letters of recommendation, and not just names and phone numbers, email addresses on a scrap of paper. Further, they should tell you what duties they provided, rate of pay, and how long they were employed, if the info is not included in the letter of recommendation.
It is essential to interview face to face, any potential caregiver, both for the attitude and vibe they present and because you want to determine any language barriers. You should get a 'feel' for them and see what makes them a good prospect. Plan on interviewing at least half a dozen candidates for the job. Also, re-interview the top two or three prospects. Do they still hold up to your standards?
If you are interviewing FOR someone, make sure they are part of the whole process. Do they get along, have any rapport? Make sure salary/wages are discussed thoroughly, tax withholding policy, if any, along with caregiver holidays, time off and grievance protocols.
Some of the questions you must ask should include:
-CPR training, a good idea for elderly, or very compromised clients
-do they have a reliable car?
-do they have insurance?
-Heimlich maneuver knowledge
-do they prepare meals?
-special equipment knowledge
-how well they know the local area, for doctor appointments, shopping etc.
-first aide knowledge?
-do they offer light cleaning/housekeeping?
-what if they are sick themselves, any backup?
If you follow these steps on your way to hiring a care giver, you should have few surprises. Good luck!